Charles Stanley – Why Should We Love God?

 

Mark 12:28-34

Most of us are familiar with what is commonly called the Great Commandment—to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Yet none of us feel adequate for such a task. Our hearts are fickle, our souls are often self-absorbed, our minds are easily distracted, and our strength falls short. We have an earthly existence that demands our time, attention, and energy. As a result, we often fail to focus on the One who is worthy of our wholehearted devotion.

So, what can we do to better obey this Great Commandment? In any relationship, love develops as we learn to know and appreciate the other person. Therefore, our starting place for loving God is His personhood—knowing who He is. The Old Testament provides magnificent views of His nature, power, and love, but the most tangible, understandable picture we have of God is His Son. When we examine Jesus’ character, words, and actions in the Gospel accounts, we perceive the heavenly Father more clearly.

The second reason to love God is because of what He has done. He’s not only our Creator but also our Savior. Through Jesus, the Father has rescued all believers from eternal destruction. We’ve been transferred from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of His Son and made heirs with Christ (Col. 1:12-13).

What distracts you from seeking to know and love the Lord? Have you carved time out of your busy schedule to read His Word and talk to Him in prayer? By doing this, you’ll discover that the saying “to know him is to love him,” will prove true of your amazing God and His Son Jesus Christ.

Bible in One Year: 2 Samuel 1-3

 

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Our Daily Bread — Front-Porch Relief

Read: Philippians 4:10–20 | Bible in a Year: Ruth 1–4; Luke 8:1–25I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation. Philippians 4:12

On a particularly hot day, eight-year-old Carmine McDaniel wanted to make sure his neighborhood mail carrier stayed cool and hydrated. So he left a cooler filled with a sports drink and water bottles on their front step. The family security camera recorded the mail carrier’s reaction: “Oh man, water and Gatorade. Thank God; thank you!”

Carmine’s mom says, “Carmine feels that it’s his ‘duty’ to supply the mailman with a cool beverage even if we’re not home.”

I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation. Philippians 4:12

This story warms our hearts, but it also reminds us that there is One who will “meet all your needs,” as the apostle Paul phrased it. Though Paul was languishing in jail and uncertain about his future, he expressed joy for the Christians in Philippi because God had met his needs through their financial gift to him. The Philippian church was not wealthy, but they were generous, giving to Paul and others out of their poverty (see 2 Corinthians 8:1–4). As the Philippians had met Paul’s needs, so God would meet theirs, “according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

God often sends vertical help through horizontal means. Put another way, He sends us what we need through the help of others. When we trust Him for what we need, we learn, as Paul did, the secret of true contentment (vv. 12–13).

How might God be prompting you to meet the needs of others? In what ways and through whom has God met your needs? Spend time thanking God for His provision.

God’s provisions are always greater than our problems.

By Marvin Williams

INSIGHT

In addition to today’s text, other Scriptures reinforce how God uses fellow believers to meet our needs. When Jesus sent out His disciples to minister, they were to trust God to provide for their needs through other people (Matthew 10:9–11; Luke 10:4–8). Jesus received help from Martha (Luke 10:38). A group of women traveled with Jesus and His disciples “to support them out of their own means” (8:1–3). And the apostle Paul had the practical support of many churches he ministered to (Romans 15:26–27; 2 Corinthians 8:1–6; 11:8–9).

  1. T. Sim

 

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Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Implementing Easter

The dominating time-piece is nothing if not thought-provoking. British inventor John Taylor’s “Chronophage” (literally ‘time eater’ from the Greek chronos and phageo) keeps watch outside Cambridge’s Taylor Library of Corpus Christi College.(1) A foreboding metal grasshopper with an ominous chomping mouth appears to devour each minute with eerie pleasure and constancy. The toll of the hour is marked by the clanging of a chain into a tiny wooden coffin, which then slams shut—”the sound of mortality,” says Taylor.(2) The pendulum also speeds up sporadically, then slows to a near halt, only to race ahead again as if somehow calculating the notion that time sometimes flies, sometimes stands still. The invention, according to Taylor, is meant to challenge our tendency to view time itself as we might view a clock. “Clocks are boring. They just tell the time, and people treat them as boring objects,” he added. “This clock actually interacts with you”—indeed, striking viewers with the idea that time is nothing to take for granted.(3)

The Christian worldview is one that recognizes at the deepest level that something about humanity is not temporal. Easter, in fact, is the celebration that this is not just a suspicion, but a reality. Christians believe in eternal dwellings, a day when tears will be no more, and in one who is preparing a house of rooms and welcome.(4) And yet, we also very much live with the distinct experience of these promises within time. Christ is not merely the one who will be with us in all eternity, the one who will dry our eyes at time’s end. Christians believe he is also alive and among us today, welcoming a kingdom that is both present and approaching. “Remember, I am with you always,” ends one of account of the life of Jesus, “even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). For the Christian, all of time is filled with the hope of resurrection, even as it is filled with Christ himself.

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Joyce Meyer – Come Closer!

 

Come close to God…and He will come close to you. — James 4:8

Not everyone is willing to pay the price required to be close to God. Not everyone is willing to simply take the time required or make the investments needed for spiritual growth. God doesn’t ask for all of our time. He certainly wants us to do things we don’t consider “spiritual.” He designed us with bodies, souls (minds, wills, and emotions), and spirits, and He expects us to take care of all these areas.

Exercising our bodies and caring for our souls takes time and effort. Our emotions need to be ministered to; we need to have fun and be entertained, and we need to enjoy being with other people. Our minds need to grow and be renewed daily. In addition, we have a spiritual nature that needs attention. To stay balanced and healthy, we must take time to take care of our entire being.

I believe the whole issue of intimacy with God is a matter of time. We say we don’t have time to seek God, but the truth is that we take time to do the things that are most important to us. Even though we all have to fight distractions every day, if knowing God and hearing from Him is important to us then we will find time to do it. Don’t try to work God into your schedule, but instead work your schedule around time with Him.

Getting to know God is a long-term investment, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t get instant results. Be determined to honor Him with your time and you will reap the benefits.

Prayer Starter: Father, I can’t live without You. Help me to put You first in my life and take the time to develop a deeper, more intimate relationship. In Jesus’ Name, Amen..

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Your Joy Restored

“Create in me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence: and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation: and uphold me with Thy free Spirit. Then will I teach transgressors Thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto Thee” (Psalm 51:10-13, KJV).

“The Christian owes it to the world to be supernaturally joyful,” said A. W. Tozer.

How do we attain that joy?

When we refuse to exhale spiritually by confessing our sins, we are miserable. On the other hand, when we do confess our sins, we experience God’s complete forgiveness. He removes our guilt and fills our lives with joy, the kind of joy we will very much want to share with others.

The psalmist also knew this when he wrote: “Create in me a new, clean heart, O God, filled with clean thoughts and right desires…Restore to me again the joy of Your salvation, and make me willing to obey You. Then I will teach Your ways to other sinners, and they – guilty like me – will repent and return to You” (Psalm 51:10,12,13).

There was a time when I allowed moods and circumstances to prevent the joyful launching of a new day with the Lord. As a result, I did not feel that close relationship with Him, that beautiful awareness of His presence that comes from fellowship with Him in His Word and in prayer, and through faithful witnessing of His reality to others.

Without that time with Him, there is no joy and the day often begins and continues in the energy of the flesh. There is no personal awareness of God’s presence, and things just seem to go wrong. We can begin every day with that joyful communion with Christ that gives us the assurance of His presence throughout the day. We are the ones who make that choice. God is available; we are the variable.

Bible Reading:Psalm 51:1-9

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I will begin this day on my knees, praising and rejoicing in the Lord as an expression of my desire to be with Him. I will read His Word and offer prayers of adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication. I will ask Him to lead me to others whose hearts He has prepared for this same joyful relationship with God.

 

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Max Lucado – Thoughts Worthy of Praise

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

We long to follow the apostle Paul’s admonition, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Philippians 4:8 NLT). Gulp! Who can do this?

Confession– I find the list difficult to keep. Heaven knows, I’ve tried. There’s a simpler way! Just make it your aim to cling to Christ. Abide in him. Is he not true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and worthy of praise? Is this not the invitation of his message in the vineyard? “Abide in Me, and I in you. . .he who abides in Me and I in him, bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing!” (from John 15:4-10 NASB).

Read more Anxious for Nothing

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

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Denison Forum – How Martin Luther King Jr.’s courage challenges us today

Fifty years ago today, at 6:01 p.m. EST, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was fatally shot. He was pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m.

Redemption: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Last 31 Hours is a riveting narrative of the events that led to Dr. King’s tragic death. Written by veteran journalist Joseph Rosenbloom, the book chronicles the last thirty-one hours and twenty-eight minutes of Dr. King’s life.

Rosenbloom explains why the great civil rights leader was in Memphis and paints an extraordinary picture of his commitment and courage.

Why he came to Memphis

In 1968, Dr. King was working to mobilize what he called the “Poor People’s Campaign” in Washington, DC. His goal was to gather thousands of impoverished people of all races from all across the country. They would stage protests at our nation’s capital until lawmakers enacted reforms to eradicate poverty in this country.

In the midst of this massive effort, he was asked to divert his attention to Memphis to support a garbage collectors’ strike that had been ongoing in that city for weeks. Dr. King felt he owed these men and their families his support, so he and his leadership team made their way to join them.

Continue reading Denison Forum – How Martin Luther King Jr.’s courage challenges us today