Charles Stanley – A Living Sacrifice

 

Romans 11:33-34, Romans 12:1-2

In the book of Romans, Paul works through a progression of truths—from our sinful condition, which deserves God’s wrath, to the display of His mercy in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Chapter 11 ends in a crescendo of praise that should cause us to respond in worship by offering ourselves to God as living sacrifices.

But practically speaking, how are we to do this? In Romans 12:2, the apostle spells out a mindset to avoid and a goal to pursue.

Do not be conformed to this world. This is not a command to withdraw to the hills and live off the grid. Rather, we’re to lay aside our former manner of life because it is corrupted by our sinful desires (Eph. 4:22). Paul calls this “the old self,” and it’s what John referred to as “the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life” (1 John 2:16). Until we deal with these things, we’ll find ourselves continually crawling off the altar to follow our own desires.

Be transformed by the renewing our minds. Lasting change isn’t brought about by willpower or emotional mountaintop experiences. For change that endures, we must renew our mind with God’s truths as revealed in His Word. Paul describes this renewal as “put[ting] on the new self,” which is created by God in righteousness, holiness, and truth (Eph. 4:23-24).

To be a living sacrifice requires submission in obedience to God’s will. As long as we’re in our earthly body, there will always be a battle with sin and self. But by letting God’s Word renew our mind, we’ll find ourselves praising Him as we use our life in accordance with His will.

Bible in One Year: 1 Samuel 22-24

 

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Our Daily Bread — The King’s Crown

Read: Matthew 27:27–31 | Bible in a Year: Judges 11–12; Luke 6:1–26They . . . twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. Matthew 27:28–29

We sat around the table, each person adding a toothpick to the foam disc before us. At our evening meal in the weeks leading up to Easter, we created a crown of thorns—with each toothpick signifying something we had done that day for which we were sorry and for which Christ had paid the penalty. The exercise brought home to us, night after night, how through our wrongdoing we were guilty and how we needed a Savior. And how Jesus freed us through His death on the cross.

The crown of thorns that Jesus was made to wear was part of a cruel game the Roman soldiers played before He was crucified. They also dressed Him in a royal robe and gave Him a staff as a king’s scepter, which they then used to beat Him. They mocked Him, calling Him “king of the Jews” (Matthew 27:29), not realizing that their actions would be remembered thousands of years later. This was no ordinary king. He was the King of Kings whose death, followed by His resurrection, gives us eternal life.

Jesus, thank You for Your gift of love that sets me free!

On Easter morning, we celebrated the gift of forgiveness and new life by replacing the toothpicks with flowers. What joy we felt, knowing that God had erased our sins and given us freedom and life forever in Him!

Lord Jesus Christ, my heart hurts to think of all of the pain and suffering You endured for me. Thank You for Your gift of love that sets me free.

The crown of thorns has become a crown of life.

By Amy Boucher Pye

INSIGHT

The horrific scene described in today’s reading serves to underscore how this fallen world and the powers of darkness held nothing but contempt for Jesus, the Son of God and Savior of the world. Yet Christ chose to suffer to redeem us: “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

How might we praise our Lord for enduring the cross in order to erase our sins and give us freedom and life forever with Him?

For further study, see The Mockery and Majesty of the Cross at discoveryseries.org/hp081.

Dennis Fisher

 

http://www.odb.org

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Help Me!

 

Matthew 15:22–23

A man once had a dream about Jesus who came upon three young men. As he came to the first of the three, he bent down to talk with him and smiled. He even gave a quick hug. Then he came to the second. He only put his hand on the young man’s head and gave him a quick look. Then he came to the third young man. This time he just walked right past and didn’t do or say anything.

Those who were watching wondered what that third young man had done to cause Jesus to ignore him. So they asked Jesus why he treated each young man so differently. Jesus said, “The first young man is a new Christian and he needs all the help I can give him. I wanted to encourage him, so I spent time with him. The second young man is a little stronger and loves me a little more. I can trust him and so I didn’t spend as much time with him. I was not ignoring the third young man. I love him very much and I’m training him for a very important role in life. I want him to be able to trust me even when it seems I’m not paying attention. It’s important for what I want him to do.”

When you pray and it seems like your prayers are being ignored, know that God hears you. God’s silence isn’t anger or disapproval. In fact, he loves you very much and it could be that he is training you to trust him even when it feels like he’s not paying attention. Perhaps he is preparing you for a greater role than you ever imagined.

Dear Lord, I still have a lot to learn about trusting you. Help me to believe you are at work no matter what I see. Amen.

Joyce Meyer – Practicing Thankfulness

 

I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. — Psalm 34:1

We all know that we should be grateful for our many blessings. God tells us in His Word to be thankful, and we know from our own experience that once we seriously start praising God, our burdens and troubles seem to weigh less heavily on our shoulders.

David said, I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. Many evils confront the [consistently] righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all (Psalm 34:1,19 AMPC).

That’s the power of thankfulness. Not only does it help set us free, but as we pause to give thanks to God for the blessings we enjoy in our lives, we actually begin to find more blessings—even more to be thankful for!

I encourage you to take time to practice being thankful. There is so much for us to be grateful for, and we need to focus on it—every single day. Keep in mind the admonition of the psalmist, Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name! (Psalm 100:4 AMPC).

Prayer Starter: Dear God, the power of thankfulness is truly incredible. Thank You for blessing me daily and working in my life. I know that without You, I have nothing, so I thank You for the goodness that You have shown me.

 

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Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – To Encourage Us

 

“These things that were written in the Scriptures so long ago are to teach us patience and to encourage us, so that we will look forward expectantly to the time when God will conquer sin and death” (Romans 15:4).

Tom had a “short fuse” and frequently exploded in anger when he was disappointed with himself or others. Then he received Christ and began to study the Word of God, obey its commands and walk in the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

His life began to change, gradually at first, until, as he told me recently, it has now been a long time since he has allowed his old nature to express his impatience.

The story is told of an impatient man who prayed and kept praying for God to grant him the virtue he so desperately needed.

“Lord,” he prayed, “give me patience, and give it to me now!”

Patience, however, is a virtue that is developmental in nature, to a large degree. It is the result of walking in the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23). It develops out of a good heart and a godly attitude (Luke 8:15). It is spawned sometimes during times of tribulation. Remember, it is a fruit of the Spirit.

Paul writes, “If we must keep trusting God for something that hasn’t happened yet, it teaches us to wait patiently and confidently” (Romans 8:25).

So patience comes from hope and trust in God. And finally, we learn patience through the study and personal application of God’s Word in our lives, as suggested in Romans 15:4, “These things that were written in the Scriptures so long ago are to teach us patience and to encourage us.”

Bible Reading:Romans 15:1-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  When delays and seeming denials occur, I will exercise patience, with the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

 

http://www.cru.org

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – Vestiges of Pre-resurrection Life


Read: John 20:1-10

And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there (vv. 5-6).

Pause a moment to consider the symbolism of not just an empty tomb, but empty grave clothes, set aside like a worn-out tent, vestiges of pre-resurrection life. The only thing missing is Jesus.

What dignity for us that he keeps the fragile flesh of incarnation and crucifixion, nail prints and all, even in his glorified, resurrected body. He could have arisen in spirit and left flesh lying there, but he didn’t. As C. S. Lewis so poignantly puts it in Mere Christianity, the world finally saw what true life looks like: the human and divine so intertwined that when one is killed, the other brings life back. “For the first time we saw a real man,” says Lewis, “. . . fully and splendidly alive.”

As Christ-followers walking this Lenten journey, what remnants of pre-resurrection life might we leave behind? What habits, fears, and attitudes remind us of what one translator calls “grave-tending”? “This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike ‘What’s next, Papa?’” (Rom. 8:15 Message). —Amy Clemens

Prayer: I was once only flesh, Creator God, but in Christ you showed me what it means to be fully alive, not disdaining my flesh, but allowing it to be intertwined by the life of your Spirit. I praise you for you have dignified your creation again in birth, death, and resurrection.

 

https://woh.org/

Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – GOD: JUDGE, REFINER, REMEMBER-ER

Malachi 2:10–16; 3:16–4:6

One prolific writer has said that books are built on good beginnings and endings. The collection of books that comprise the Minor Prophets more than exceed this criteria for good endings!

The twelve prophets—some of priestly or royal lineage, some of common vocation, some with little biographical information available to us now—wrote over the course of centuries. Some predicted the judgment of God’s people during times of prosperity; others declared the devastation of exile; still others (like Malachi) ministered during the time of rebuilding. But despite their differences, the twelve prophets—minor only in length, not importance—have followed a common thread: sinners in the hands of a merciful God find His astonishing, relenting love.

At the beginning of the month, we began in Hosea with the picture of Israel as God’s unfaithful wife. At the end of our study, we’re left with the foreboding sense that not much has changed. The people still struggle to obey God fully. They’ve intermarried with the pagan nations surrounding them, some divorcing their own wives to do so. They’ve neglected proper observance of the sacrificial rites in the temple (2:11–12). They’ve robbed God by refusing to bring the appropriate tithes and contributions to the temple. Can Israel really turn over a new leaf of righteousness?

She can’t—which is what makes the prophecy regarding the coming of Elijah so critical. God must send a final prophet, a prophecy fulfilled in John the Baptist (see Matt. 3:1–12; 11:13–15). His mission was to point toward a final, faithful prophet, priest, and King—Jesus Christ. He alone can heal our incurable hearts of rebellion. He alone can—and will—save us.

APPLY THE WORD

The prophets longed to understand the gospel of Jesus Christ, which they understood only dimly (see 1 Peter 1:10–12). The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ has made it possible for God to relent from judgment and show mercy, and His Spirit within us cures our rebellion, pride, and idolatry. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

 

http://www.todayintheword.org

Charles Stanley – Our Merciful and Faithful High Priest

 

Hebrews 2:14-18

Sometimes when people are estranged, they need a mediator who comes between them to bring reconciliation. This is one way to think of the Old Testament priests. They stood between God and sinful man, offering sacrifices that would reconcile the two.

These earthly priests were a mere shadow of Christ, who came as both the Lamb of sacrifice and the final high priest. God’s Son left heaven to become flesh and blood so He could offer His life on the cross (Phil. 2:6-8). In that way, Jesus set free from sin and death all who believe in Him.

Our Savior was the perfect mediator. Because Jesus was fully God, He was the spotless Lamb the law required (Deut. 17:1). And because He was fully man, it was possible for Him to die. Unlike the earthly priests who repeatedly brought animal sacrifices for themselves and the people, Jesus offered Himself once for all to the Father in payment for the sins of mankind (Heb. 7:27). Then, having satisfied God’s justice with His blood, He was raised to life.

Death did not end the Savior’s role as our High Priest. After the resurrection, Christ ascended to heaven, where He sits at the Father’s right hand and intercedes for us. Having lived on the earth as a man, He understands our weaknesses and gives mercy and grace to help us in times of need (Heb. 4:16).

There’s great comfort in knowing we have a merciful advocate in heaven. His prayers are according to God’s will, so we also have the assurance that the Father will answer every intercession Jesus makes on our behalf.

Bible in One Year: 1 Samuel 19-21

 

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Our Daily Bread — The Via Dolorosa

 

Read: Hebrews 10:1–10 | Bible in a Year: Judges 9–10; Luke 5:17–39

We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Hebrews 10:10

During Holy Week, we remember the final days before Jesus’s crucifixion. The road Jesus traveled to the cross through the streets of Jerusalem is known today as the Via Dolorosa, the way of sorrows.

But the writer of Hebrews viewed the path Jesus took as more than just a path of sorrows. The way of suffering that Jesus willingly walked to Golgotha made a “new and living way” into the presence of God for us (Hebrews 10:20).

Jesus, thank You for walking the way of sorrow and making a way for us to be reconciled to God.

For centuries the Jewish people had sought to come into God’s presence through animal sacrifices and by seeking to keep the law. But the law was “only a shadow of the good things that are coming,” for “it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (vv. 1, 4).

Jesus’s journey down the Via Dolorosa led to His death and resurrection. Because of His sacrifice, we can be made holy when we trust in Him for the forgiveness of our sins. Even though we aren’t able to keep the law perfectly, we can draw near to God without fear, fully confident that we are welcomed and loved (vv. 10, 22).

Christ’s way of sorrow opened for us a new and living way to God.

Jesus, thank You for walking the way of sorrow and making a way for us to be reconciled to God.

Christ’s sacrifice was what God desired and what our sin required.

By Amy Peterson

INSIGHT

In Romans 3:9–23 Paul describes how we are all sinners. Because of our sins we deserve God’s wrath (1:18). But God showed us how much He loved us by giving His Son to be the “sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood” (3:25). We are all “justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (v. 24). Even though we still sin, we are justified, reconciled, and sanctified. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, who dwells within us, we can live holy lives.

 

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Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Beauty’s Absence

I stood in front of the painting long enough that my neck hurt from craning upward, long enough to make the connection that onlookers that day likely held a similar stance as they watched Jesus of Nazareth on the cross. Francisco de Zurbarán’s massive 1627 painting The Crucifixion hangs in gallery 211 of the Chicago Art Institute. Viewers must stand back from the piece and gaze upward in order to take it all in. Zurbarán depicts the point just before Christ takes his last breath. His body leans forward from exhaustion; his head hangs downward. All details of any background activity are absent, the black backdrop a jarring juxtaposition beside his pale, bruised skin. The artist’s use of light intensifies the stark pull of sympathy towards a body that is both clearly suffering and yet somehow beautiful. At the time, I wasn’t sure what I believed about Christianity. But there was something about the painting I couldn’t stop trying to grasp.

There is indeed something about beauty that for many of us is intensely spiritual. Whether peering into the natural beauty of a majestic waterfall or the exquisite lights of the Eiffel Tower, many describe a connection between beauty and the transcendent in religious terms—at times, even contradictingly so, our own theories of the world either undercutting or cutting off the very possibilities we want to espouse. For many of the minds I admire today, beauty is both a compelling part of their faith and compelling evidence for God’s existence. A blind and mechanistic universe cannot answer for the longings stirred by earthly beauty. Stated more personally, I could not account for the longings stirred by the beauty of a suffering God in person. Staring at Jesus in The Crucifixion, I could not explain the quality of beauty that seemed distinctive of his very soul—choosing even in pain and death to forgive tirelessly, though surrounded by people who do not. As a hen uses her wings to gather her chicks, there are indeed times I suspect the Spirit uses beauty to bring us quietly before the Son.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Beauty’s Absence

Joyce Meyer – The Humble Get the Help

 

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God [set aside self-righteous pride], so that He may exalt you [to a place of honor in His service] at the appropriate time, — 1 Peter 5:6

Since Jesus invites us to cast all of our care and worry on Him, why do so many of us refuse to let go of it? Maybe we don’t realize how miserable we are when we carry the burden of worry.

The only way to have victory in our lives is to follow God’s wisdom, and He says we must quit worrying if we want to have peace. So when things come our way that cause us to be concerned, we need God’s help. How do we get it? First Peter 5:6 says that we need to humble ourselves.

That seems pretty clear and simple, yet some continue struggling because they’re too stubborn to ask for help. But the humble get the help. So if your way isn’t working, why not try God’s way?

When we humble ourselves and ask for God’s help, then He’s able to release His power in our situations. It’s only then that we can really enjoy life. So humble yourself today and let Him take care of your worries.

Prayer Starter: God, I know I can’t peacefully handle my life on my own, so I humble myself today and ask You for help. I trust You and give You control in my life.

 

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Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Rivers of Living Water

 

“For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water shall flow from the inmost being of anyone who believes in me” (John 7:38).

I was explaining to a group of Christians the meaning of Proverbs 15:13-15, “A happy face means a glad heart, a sad face means a breaking heart. When a man is gloomy, everything seems to go wrong and when he is cheerful everything seems to go right.”

God’s Word reminds us that the source of joy is the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 1:6). So if a man is filled with the Spirit, he will have a joyful heart. When we are filled with the Spirit, we will express love by singing and making melody in our hearts to the Lord. A happy heart will inevitably produce a joyful countenance (Ephesians 5:18-21).

If we do not have a joyful, peaceful countenance, there is reason to question whether we have a loving, joyful heart. And if we do not have a loving, joyful heart, it is not likely that we are filled with the Spirit.

One Christian leader, who had heard me speak, approached me later. He just happened to have a very somber, stern countenance. He explained to me that this was a new concept to him, and since he was reared in another culture, he felt that his somber countenance was a cultural thing.

“In our part of the world [the Middle East],” he said, “we don’t smile and express ourselves like American Christians.”

Together we analyzed the Scripture and concluded that culture has nothing to do with this truth, since Jesus, Paul and other writers of the New Testament were also born in the Middle East. If we truly understand the Spirit-filled life, whatever our cultural background, the joy of the Lord will flow from us – from our “innermost being shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38, NAS).

Bible Reading:John 7:33-37

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  Recognizing love, joy and peace as trademarks of the Spirit-filled life, I will consciously seek to be Spirit-controlled so that these expressions will be a natural overflow of my life. I will teach this spiritual truth to others today.

 

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Calvary

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Come with me to the hill of Calvary. Watch as the soldiers shove the carpenter to the ground and stretch his arms against the beams. Jesus turns his face toward the nail just as the soldier lifts the hammer to strike it! Couldn’t Jesus have stopped him? With a flex of bicep, a clench of the fist, he could have resisted. But the moment isn’t aborted. Why? Why didn’t Jesus resist?

As the soldier pressed his arm, Jesus saw a nail—yes. He saw the soldier’s hand—yes. But he saw something else. A long list of our lusts and lies and greedy moments and prodigal years. A list of our sins. He knew the price of those sins was death. He knew the source of those sins was you. And he couldn’t bear the thought of eternity without you. He chose the nails!

From On Calvary’s Hill

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

 

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Denison Forum – How Martin Luther King Jr.’s last Sunday sermon speaks to us today

Tomorrow marks the fiftieth anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s last Sunday sermon.

On March 31, 1968, Dr. King preached at the Washington National Cathedral. An overflow crowd heard him deliver “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution,” calling his listeners to join God in a movement that would bring righteousness to a culture divided by racial bigotry and endemic poverty.

In his message, he noted: “On some positions, cowardice asks the question: Is it expedient? And then expedience comes along and asks the question: Is it politic? Vanity asks the question: Is it popular? Conscience asks the question: Is it right?”

Then Dr. King stated, “There comes a time when one must take the position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must do it because conscience tells him it is right.”

Four days later, he paid for his conscience with his life.

Continue reading Denison Forum – How Martin Luther King Jr.’s last Sunday sermon speaks to us today

Charles Stanley – A New and Living Way

 

Hebrews 10:19-23

Have you ever considered what a privilege it is to live in the era after the cross? Today every believer has instant access to God through His Son Jesus Christ. We don’t need to adhere to any religious rites before coming to Him in prayer. Wherever we are, we can call on Him for forgiveness and help.

In the Old Testament, the law prescribed exactly who could approach the Lord and how it was to be done. The temple area was divided into a courtyard, an inner chamber called the Holy Place, and the innermost chamber called the Holy of Holies. Any Israelite could come to the temple to pray to God or to bring an offering, but only the priests could sacrifice animals on the altar or burn incense in the Holy Place. The Holy of Holies was entered once a year and only by the high priest to offer blood for his sins and the sins of the nation.

When Jesus Christ died on Calvary’s cross, the curtain in front of the Holy of Holies was torn from top to bottom as God opened a new and living way to approach Him: through the blood of His Son. When we trust in Christ and His sacrifice on our behalf, He cleanses us from all sins and invites us to draw near to Him.

The way to the heavenly Father is open, but are you drawing near to Him? Even those of us who have trusted the Lord for salvation may not be taking advantage of this invitation to come even closer. In James 4:8, the author makes a promise every believer should claim: “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

Bible in One Year: 1 Samuel 17-18

 

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Our Daily Bread — Basin of Love

 

Read: John 13:1–17 | Bible in a Year: Judges 7–8; Luke 5:1–16

After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet. John 13:5

One day in physics class many years ago, our teacher asked us to tell him—without turning around—what color the back wall of the classroom was. None of us could answer, for we hadn’t noticed.

Sometimes we miss or overlook the “stuff” of life simply because we can’t take it all in. And sometimes we don’t see what’s been there all along.

Lord Jesus Christ, fill my heart with love that I might roll up my sleeves and wash the feet of others for You

It was like that for me as I recently read again the account of Jesus washing His disciples’ feet. The story is a familiar one, for it is often read during Passion Week. That our Savior and King would stoop to cleanse the feet of His disciples awes us. In Jesus’s day, even Jewish servants were spared this task because it was seen as beneath them. But what I hadn’t noticed before was that Jesus, who was both man and God, washed the feet of Judas. Even though He knew Judas would betray Him, as we see in John 13:11, Jesus still humbled Himself and washed Judas’s feet.

Love poured out in a basin of water—love that He shared even with the one who would betray Him. As we ponder the events of this week leading up to the celebration of Jesus’s resurrection, may we too be given the gift of humility so that we can extend Jesus’s love to our friends and any enemies.

Lord Jesus Christ, fill my heart with love that I might roll up my sleeves and wash the feet of others for Your glory.

Because of love, Jesus humbled Himself and washed His disciples’ feet.

 

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Ravi Zacharias Ministry – The Way of Suffering

For Christians, this week is the holiest of all weeks. And yet, it is holy in a most ironic way. In this week, those who follow Jesus seek to remember and commemorate the final days and hours of Jesus’s life are commemorated. They are holy days as we struggle to understand the suffering and agony of Jesus. Beginning with Maundy Thursday and traversing through the horror of Good Friday and Holy Saturday, Christians attempt to comprehend and remember the passion of Jesus in his suffering prior to celebrating his resurrection from the dead on Easter Sunday.

His final hours were spent in prayer. Yet the Gospel of Luke tells us that there was nothing unusual about him being in prayer: “And he came out and proceeded as was his custom to the Mount of Olives…and when he arrived at the place…he withdrew from them…and knelt down and began to pray” (Luke 22:39-41). As was his custom, he would go to pray. We do not often hear the content of these prayer times, but in this case, in these final hours, we see him gripped with passion. Luke tells us that he was in such agony that his sweat “became like drops of blood” (22:44). Modern medicine surmises that under extreme conditions of duress, capillaries in the head burst forth drops of blood literally pouring out of the skin like perspiration. Whatever the case, Jesus had never been in this much distress before—even in his wilderness testing—we have no other portrait of such extreme duress in prayer.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – The Way of Suffering

Joyce Meyer – SMILE!

A heart full of joy and goodness makes a cheerful face, But when a heart is full of sadness the spirit is crushed. — Proverbs 15:13

Everyone knows how to smile. It’s one of the greatest gifts God has given us. A smile makes people feel good, and people look so beautiful when they smile. When the joy in your life is obvious, it rubs off on others. But when you keep God’s joy locked inside you and don’t allow it to show on your face, you’re depriving those around you of a pleasant and refreshing experience.

Most people really don’t understand how expressing joy will change their circumstances and, perhaps, the lives of others. Living your life with the joy of the Lord will chase off negative, depressing circumstances. And when we have His joy deep down inside of us, we can’t help but put it on display by smiling!

I never would have thought that smiling was such a serious matter, but God has shown me how revolutionary a simple smile can be. Expressing joy through the calm delight of smiling brings good things into your own life and shares the joy and light of the Lord with others…so smile!

Prayer Starter: Lord, remind me to smile daily! You’ve given me great joy, and I want to display it and brighten the lives of others!

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – As a Man Thinketh

 

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…. (Proverbs 23:7, KJV).

“Every day in every way I am becoming better and better,” declared the French philosopher Emile Coue. But it is said that he committed suicide.

Positive thinking by a nonbeliever without a biblical basis is often an exercise in futility. Though I agree with the basic concept of positive thinking, so long as it is related to the Word of God, there is a difference between positive thinking and supernatural thinking. We do not think positively so that we can know Christ better; we come to know Christ better, which results in supernatural thinking. The basis of our thinking is God’s Word; supernatural thinking is based upon the attributes of God.

When a man says, “I am going to be enthusiastic, by faith, as an act of the will,” or “I am going to rejoice, by faith, as an act of the will,” he is simply drawing upon his rights as a child of God, according to the promises of God.

In supernatural thinking, we apply the promises of God, knowing with certainty that if we ask anything according to His will, He will hear and answer us.

Some well-known Christian leaders emphasize “positive thinking” and “possibility thinking.” They are men whom I admire and with whom I agree basically in this regard because the Christian life is a positive life. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

But I prefer to use what I believe to be the more scriptural definition of the Christian life – supernatural thinking, which includes – but goes far beyond – both positive thinking and possibility thinking.

Bible Reading:Proverbs 23:1-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  Today I will claim by faith a promise or promises from God’s Word which will help me to live a supernatural life.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – An Anchor for the Soul

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Six hours, one Friday. To the casual observer the six hours are mundane. But to a handful of awestruck witnesses, the most maddening of miracles is occurring. God is on a cross. The Creator of the universe is being executed!

It is no normal six hours. . .it is no normal Friday. His own friends ran for cover. And now his own father is beginning to turn his back on him, leaving him alone. What do you do with that day in history?  If God did commandeer his own crucifixion. . .if he did turn his back on his own son. . .if he did storm Satan’s gate, then those six hours that Friday were packed with tragic triumph. If that was God on that cross, then the hill called Skull is granite studded with stakes to which you can anchor your soul forever!

Read more On Calvary’s Hill

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

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