Charles Stanley – A Life-Changing Prayer

 

Colossians 1:1-9

When the apostle Paul wrote to the believers at Colossae, his letter included a life-changing prayer that is still impactful all these centuries later. It remains powerful because every request is in agreement with God’s will.

The first petition is for the Colossians to know the Lord’s desires. In order to please God, we must comprehend what His plans are and help carry them out. These include such things as loving God and our neighbors as well as His specific purposes for each believer’s life (Luke 10:27; Eph. 2:10).

Paul’s second request is for God to give spiritual wisdom and understanding with regard to such knowledge. He knew that to apply what we learn, we need the insight and clarity that can come only from the Holy Spirit (John 16:13). The result of these two petitions will be the ability to see better from God’s viewpoint. We’ll perceive our choices and situations as they really are, not just as they appear to be.

Another wonderful thing about these requests is that we can make them for those who do not trust in the Savior. Our Father offers salvation to all who believe in Christ. It is not His desire for any to perish (2 Peter 3:9). If unbelievers know God’s will, their minds could be opened to His offer of forgiveness, and they might accept the sacrifice Jesus made.

God’s Word says that those who pray in agreement with His purposes will receive what they ask. That’s why it is important to start by discovering what His plans are. Try incorporating scriptural prayers—like the one from today’s passage—into your conversations with the Lord.

Bible in One Year: 2 Samuel 13-14

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Strength in Suffering

Read: 1 Peter 2:11–23 | Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 10–12; Luke 9:37–62

Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.  1 Peter 2:21

When eighteen-year-old Sammy received Jesus as Savior, his family rejected him because their tradition was of a different faith. But the Christian community welcomed him, offering encouragement and financial resources for his education. Later, when his testimony was published in a magazine, his persecution intensified.

But Sammy did not stop seeing his family. He visited whenever he could and talked with his father, even though his siblings cruelly prevented him from participating in family affairs. When his father fell ill, Sammy overlooked his family’s slighting and attended to him, praying his father would get well. When God healed him, the family began to warm up toward Sammy. Over time, his loving witness softened their attitude toward him—and some of his family members became willing to hear about Jesus.

Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 1 Peter 2:21

Our decision to follow Christ may cause us difficulties. Peter wrote, “It is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God” (1 Peter 2:19). When we undergo discomfort or suffering because of our faith, we do so because “Christ suffered for [us], leaving [us] an example, that [we] should follow in his steps” (v. 21).

Even when others hurled insults at Jesus, “he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly” (v. 23). Jesus is our example in suffering. We can turn to Him for strength.

Dear Lord Jesus, help me to follow Your example in my conduct and in suffering for You.

When we suffer for Jesus, He comes to walk us through it.

By Lawrence Darmani

INSIGHT

Why would God allow those He loves to be chased from their homes and homeland? (1 Peter 1:1–2). According to Peter, their plight was a chance to show their faith in the goodness of God who calls all of us to something far more wonderful than material comfort and security. What other reasons does Peter offer?

 

Mart DeHaan

 

http://www.odb.org

Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – WHY BLOOD?

 

Hebrews 9:1–28

A classmate of Billy Sunday, hymn writer Lewis Jones (1865–1936) attended Moody Bible Institute. Upon graduation, he worked for the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), and at a camp meeting in Maryland he wrote the words to the hymn, “There Is Power in the Blood.”

Would you be free from the burden of sin?

There’s power in the blood, power in the blood;

Would you o’er evil a victory win?

There’s wonderful power in the blood.

Jones was writing about the power in Christ’s blood, offered on our behalf, as we read in our text today. The writer of the book of Hebrews draws heavily on the book of Leviticus, and Leviticus 17:11 provides some helpful context for this passage: “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.” Why did God require the presentation of the animal’s blood in the sacrifices of the Mosaic Law? Because it represented the unblemished life that atoned for the people’s sins (vv. 7, 13).

In the book of Hebrews, Jesus is described as our high priest who entered God’s presence with the perfect offering of His blood. He was the only human who lived a sinless life before God. He was resurrected from the dead with a body that defeated death and decay. He was the only One who could come into the heavenly Most Holy Place, into the presence of God the Father, and bring a sacrifice of perfect life and obedience (vv. 24–28).

And He did this for us! Jesus makes this sacrifice so that we can have forgiveness from our sins and fellowship with God. Our sins are covered by the blood of Jesus Christ Himself, which offers “eternal redemption” (v. 12).

APPLY THE WORD

Our culture tends to be averse to blood, finding it painful or gory. But this passage underscores the beauty and power of the blood of Christ offered on our behalf. If you are able, sing or listen to the old hymn, “There Is Power in the Blood,” and rejoice in the amazing truth today. You are forgiven through the blood of Jesus!

 

http://www.todayintheword.org

Joyce Meyer – Cast Your Care

Casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully]. — 1 Peter 5:7

You can pray about everything and worry about nothing. When you worry, it says you think you can solve your own problems better than God can. But you were not built to handle problems in your own strength. You were created by God to be dependent upon Him; so bring Him your challenges in life and allow Him to help you with them.

Can you imagine your life without worry? Why not start today to live a worry-free life? Ask the Lord to show you every time you are taking on care instead of casting it off. When He makes you aware of it, be willing to immediately cast it on Him—you will enjoy life so much more. After a period of time, you will actually find it difficult to worry! It just won’t suit you any longer.

Prayer Starter: Father God, You are my One and Only source of peace. Right now, I commit to you all of my worries and concerns—big and small. They are too much for me, but they are not too difficult for You. Help me to trust You more and more. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – God’s Home Is Holy

“Don’t you realize that all of you together are the house of God, and that the Spirit of God lives among you in His house? If anyone defiles and spoils God’s home, God will destroy him. For God’s home is holy and clean, and you are that home” (1 Corinthians 3:16,17).

At this writing, I am with the staff at our annual training on the campus of Colorado State University. In addition to the 3,000 United States and Canadian field staff of Campus Crusade for Christ who are here, thousands more are attending music workshops, summer school, numerous conferences and meetings on this campus. Also, the entire Denver Broncos professional football team is here for training.

Throughout the day, from early morning till late at night, the campus is alive with people jogging, roller-skating, playing tennis, walking and other physical activities. These people are disciplining their bodies, keeping them in good physical tone.

Sadly, however, I also witness many people who lack interest in physical well-being by smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages. A stroll down the sidewalks of this beautiful campus will reveal numerous smokers. And, in the early hours, before the clean-up crews go to work, one can see in the gutters the empty beer cans from the previous night’s revelry and carousing.

The body of the Christian is the temple of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19 and 1 Corinthians 3:16,17). For this reason, God asks us to present our bodies as “living sacrifices,” holy and righteous, for God could dwell in no less a temple.

Bible Reading:I Corinthians 3:11-15

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I will take especially good care of my body – physically, mentally, spiritually – realizing it is the temple of God’s Holy Spirit.

 

http://www.cru.org

Wisdom Hunters – Heart Knowledge 

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10

There is a very important distinction between heart knowledge and head knowledge. A person can know facts about God in her head, without applying it to her heart by faith. A man or woman can hear all the right things, say the right things, attend church, and still be 18 inches away from heaven—the distance between the head and the heart.

We can play church, masquerade our true heart to others, and even fool ourselves, but God cannot be fooled. We can volunteer in ministry, give money and have accolades from genuine Christians, but has our heart truly been transformed by the grace of God? Evidence of conversion is a public declaration of Jesus as Lord, and an internal confession that God raised Him from the dead. A heart engaged with eternity is saved from sin.

“The Lord says: ‘These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught’” (Isaiah 29:13).

Where are you on the continuum of your commitment to Christ? Are you still seeking? Have you crossed over the line of belief by bowing in humble submission to your Savior and Lord Jesus? Be honest with yourself and God if you have not given your heart to heaven. Pray for the Lord to help your unbelief, and be bold to request prayer from others.

What life event will it take to lead you to authentic faith and repentance? Marriage? The birth of a child? The loss of a child? The loss of a parent? Health issues? Financial brokenness? When we are on our back, our heart looks to heaven for help. When we drop to our knees in humble prayer, we see the Lord lifted up, and we invite His warm embrace.

Don’t fight the hang-ups in your head—instead surrender your heart to Jesus. The enemy will always find an excuse for your mind to excuse eternal life in heaven. Do not dismiss childlike faith in Jesus for this is the entrance into His Kingdom. We are first born again with infant faith then we mature by grace and the meat of God’s word. Have you made this initial move of heart-felt faith? Take this first step of trust and start your walk with Jesus.

“But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation” (Psalm 13:5).

Prayer: What obstacle to faith do I need to lay at the feet of Jesus, and trust Him?

Application: How can I grow a heart of humble prayer to process my knowledge of God?

Related Readings: Job 33:3; Psalm 21:2; Mark 7:6; John 3:3; 2 Timothy 1:9

 

http://www.wisdomhunters.com/

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – God Isn’t Safe

Read: Acts 5:1-11

And great fear came upon all who heard of it. (v. 5)

What can we say about a story like this? One thing we can say is that it demonstrates Luke’s honesty as a historian. The English leader Oliver Cromwell supposedly instructed the artist who was about to make his portrait, “Paint me as I am, warts and all!” That’s exactly what Luke does in his picture of the early church. Here we see a glaring example of dishonesty and hypocrisy. Apparently, the Jerusalem church’s beautiful life of fellowship and mutual care was not as wonderful and complete as it seemed at first.

Another thing we can say is that God isn’t one to be trifled with. Narnia, C. S. Lewis’ magical land, is presided over by Aslan, the godlike lion. When the children whose adventures make up the Narnia stories are first told about Aslan, they are apprehensive about meeting this terrifying being. “Is he—quite safe?” asks one of the children. “Safe? . . . ’Course he isn’t safe,” comes the reply. “But he is good.”

What bothers us most about the story in Acts 5 is not so much the sin of Ananias and Sapphira as what happened to them as a result of it. Nowadays we tend to downplay both the holiness of God and the seriousness of sin. Who doesn’t want to concentrate on God’s mercy and love instead? So you’ll often hear that we shouldn’t be afraid of God. Really? Read verses 5 and 11 again.

God isn’t safe. But he is good. He is a Savior for repentant sinners. Be thankful for that! —David Bast

Prayer: God, be merciful to me.

 

https://woh.org/