Charles Stanley – Shortcutting God’s Will

 

Psalm 37:1-9

In sports, construction, and travel, precision timing is essential. Rushing ahead of the plan could result in lost opportunities, future problems, or disaster. God’s plan for our life also contains time-sensitive elements. He orchestrates events to accomplish His will, bring Himself glory, and benefit us. This is why cooperation with His timing is so crucial. Instead of learning this lesson the hard way, consider what happened in the following situations from Scripture:

  • Abraham and Sarah tried to gain the promised son through Hagar, resulting in domestic discord and anger (Gen. 16:1-6).
    • Rebekah and Jacob used deception in an attempt to gain the Lord’s blessing, and Jacob became a fugitive (Gen. 27:1-43).
    • Becoming impatient for Samuel’s arrival, King Saul offered the sacrifice himself, and God took away his kingdom (1 Samuel 13:8-14).

Refusing to wait for God’s plan brings heartache and closes doors. But trusting in the Lord’s wisdom, believing His promises, waiting for His timing, and committing our way to Him will bring the blessings of obedience.

There are no shortcuts to God’s will, and His path for us may not be easy. To cooperate with Him, we must die to self, relinquish our own desires and plans in order to pursue His, and understand that we are His servants.

Coming up with a plan and rushing ahead may seem like the best approach, but who is better qualified to lead the way—you or God? One pathway is filled with fretting and uncertainty, but the other leads to rest and blessing. Which will you choose?

Bible in One Year: 2 Samuel 7-9

 

http://www.intouch.org/

 

Our Daily Bread — Comfort Shared

 

Read: 2 Corinthians 1:1–10 | Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 4–6; Luke 9:1–17

Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you. John 20:21

“God sent you to me tonight!”

Those were the parting words from the woman standing in front of me as we exited our flight to Chicago. She had sat across the aisle from me, where I learned she was headed home after several flights in a round-trip that day. “Do you mind if I ask why you had such a quick turnaround?” I inquired. She glanced downward: “I just put my daughter in rehab for drug abuse today.”

I praise You for Your compassion for us at the cross, Lord!

In the moments that followed I gently shared the story of my son’s struggle with heroin addiction and how Jesus had set him free. As she listened, a smile broke through her tears. After the plane landed we prayed together before parting, asking God to break her daughter’s chains.

Later that evening I thought of Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 1:3–4: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

All around us are people who need to be encouraged with the comfort only God can give. He wants us to reach out to them with tenderhearted compassion, to share the love He has shared with us. May God send us to those who need His comfort today!

I praise You for Your compassion for us at the cross, Lord! Help me to comfort others with Your kindness and love today.

God’s kindness meets our deepest need.

Watch Geoff Banks’ story at ourdailybread.org/story/geoff.

By James Banks

INSIGHT

We honor the “God of all comfort” (v. 3) when we offer compassion to others. Who needs comfort? Ecclesiastes 4:1 says, “I saw the tears of the oppressed—and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors—and they have no comforter.” Scripture reminds us that from the victim to the oppressor, everyone needs the comfort God offers.

For further study, check out the free course Soul Care Foundations I at christianuniversity.org/CC201.

Bill Crowder

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – The Bank of Justice

In his famed “I have a Dream speech,” Martin Luther King Jr. proclaimed: “We refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt.” At these words, Dr. King painted for a troubled nation a powerful image of hope, and forever rooted the civil rights movement in images of justice and the image of God.

The images presented in the book of Daniel are similarly rooted in images of justice and God. In fact, it is for this reason that the sixth chapter of Daniel was a favorite Scripture passage among civil rights preachers in the early 1960s. The story told in Daniel 6 presents a king who loses sight of his purpose as king and the purpose of the law, creating a system void of justice and a law that only hinders and traps its makers. But against the images of lawlessness and corruption, the story portrays a silent but active Daniel clinging to a higher law, bowing before the King of Kings in the midst of persecution, in the hands of his oppressors, and the shadows of the lions’ den. Living within the hopelessness of exile, sweltering under the heat of injustice, Daniel unflinchingly declares the sovereignty of God, and with faithfulness and perseverance refuses to believe otherwise.

In a kingdom in which he was a mere foreigner, Daniel was appointed a position of great authority because the king found him to be useful. The story quickly hints that in the peaceful dominion of King Darius all is not peaceful. The leaders serving under Daniel want to get rid of him. The story does not provide a thorough explanation for their hatred of Daniel and yet, perhaps in this silence much is said. The nature of any prejudice is absent of explanation. Without reason, without logic, we discriminate and are discriminated against. There is no explanation because to explain our reasons behind prejudice is to become our own judge. In fact, Daniel’s enemies announce their illogic when they conclude, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God” (6:5).

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – The Bank of Justice

Joyce Meyer – Accidental Mistakes

 

No one born (begotten) of God [deliberately, knowingly, and habitually] practices sin, for God’s nature abides in him [His principle of life, the divine sperm, remains permanently within him]; and he cannot practice sinning because he is born (begotten) of God. — 1 John 3:9 AMPC

I like to put it this way: I used to be a full-time sinner, and once in a while I accidentally slipped up and did something right. But now that I have spent many years developing a deep, personal relationship with God and His Word, I concentrate on being a full-time obedient child of God. I still make mistakes, but not nearly as many as I once did. I am not where I need to be, but thank God I am not where I used to be.

There are times when I accidentally make mistakes, but it is not the desire of my heart to do wrong. I do not deliberately, knowingly commit sin. I do not habitually sin. So, I don’t allow those occasions to make me feel insecure. I don’t do everything right, but I do know that the attitude of my heart is right.

I can be having an absolutely wonderful day, feeling very close to the Lord and quite spiritual. Then my husband, Dave, comes home and says he does not care for the outfit I am wearing, and I suddenly become angry and defensive, telling him everything I don’t like about him either.

I don’t intend for that to happen; in fact, I plan to be very sweet and submissive when he comes home. But, as Paul said in Romans 7, the things I want to do, I don’t do, and the things I don’t want to do, I end up doing. We plan for right behavior because our hearts are right, but like Paul our plans don’t always work. Thank God for His mercy that is new every day! (See Lamentations 3:22-23).

Prayer Starter: Father, Your Word says if we repent and confess our sins, You are faithful to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness (see 1 John 1:9). Thank You for Your great mercy. Help me to receive Your forgiveness and grace for my mistakes and move forward with confidence that You love me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Reap What You Sow

 

“Don’t be misled; remember that you can’t ignore God and get away with it: a man will always reap just the kind of crop he sows!” (Galatians 6:7).

Steve had just been introduced to this great and exciting law of sowing and reaping. “Is it really true,” he asked, “that I will always reap what I sow – and more than I sow – good or bad?”

I was able to assure him, from the authority of Scripture, from experience of 36 years of walking with Christ and by observing closely the lives of many thousands of Christians with whom I have counseled and worked, that the law of sowing and reaping is just as true and inviolate as the law of gravity.

If you want to judge a man, an American humorist once said, you should not look at him in the face but get behind him and see what he is looking at, what he is sowing.

For example, is he looking at God with reverence – or with no deference at all? Does he really believe God means what He says?

A student once asked, “If I give my life to Christ, do I become a puppet?”

The answer is a resounding no! We never become puppets. We have the right of choice; we are free moral agents. God’s Word assures us that He guides and encourages us, but we must act as a result of our own self-will. God does not force us to make decisions.

The more we understand the love, the wisdom, the sovereignty, the grace and power of God, the more we will want to trust Him with every detail of our lives. The secret of the supernatural life is to keep Christ on the throne of our lives and delight ourselves in Him as Lord.

We fail in the Christian life when we, as a deliberate act of our will, choose to disobey the leading of the Holy Spirit.

It is a tragedy of the human will that we often think we have a better way than God has for living the Christian life. But do not deceive yourself or allow Satan to mislead you: God’s way is best!

Bible Reading:Galatians 6:6-10

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I will seek to sow seeds of love and kindness and faith knowing that as a result I will reap God’s best for my life.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Disarming Anxiety

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Your goal is not to know every detail of the future. Your goal is to hold the hand of the One who does; and never, ever let go! Jesus tells us rather bluntly, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on” (Matthew 6:25).

He then gives us two commands, look and consider. “Look at the birds of the air” (Matthew 6:26). When we do, they appear happy. They don’t appear sleep deprived or lonely. They whistle and soar! He then says, “Consider the lilies” (Matthew 6:28). And he adds, “Even Solomon,” the richest king in history, “was not arrayed like one of these” (Matthew 6:29).

How do we disarm anxiety? Stockpile our minds with God thoughts. If birds and flowers fall under the category of God’s care, won’t he care for us as well?

Read more Anxious for Nothing

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

http://www.maxlucado.com

Denison Forum – Couple who divorced 50 years ago will get married next week

“We started out the first mile together, now we’ll walk the last mile together.” That’s how a couple who divorced fifty years ago explained their decision to get married again.

Harold Holland and Lillian Barnes fell in love as teenagers. They married and had five children together but divorced in 1968. They married other people, but their spouses died in 2015. Holland hosted his annual family reunion at his house last summer. This time, Barnes attended.

“One thing led to another,” Holland said. He takes full responsibility for their divorce and says he was surprised she gave him another chance. Next week, they will marry again.

Their blended families include ten children, more than twenty grandchildren, and thirty-plus great-grandchildren. Holland says he’s lost exact count. He has enjoyed telling them the news, however: “The kids and grandkids got a big bang out of that. Grandma marrying Grandpa sounds a little weird.”

Their grandson, Joshua Holland, is a pastor in New Orleans and will officiate their wedding on April 14. He says, “This is the most monumental wedding I’ll probably ever do in my life.”

“It is not good that the man should be alone” Continue reading Denison Forum – Couple who divorced 50 years ago will get married next week