Charles Stanley – Our Financial Security

 

Matthew 25:14-28

Feeling safe is a basic human need. Many people think they are financially secure until a little blip comes along in the economy or their personal circumstances. Then the reality that they are vulnerable hits home. Contrary to what the world says, financial security is found not in a bank account or a retirement fund but in a relationship with the One who owns everything in heaven and on earth.

God is not too busy running the universe to be concerned about your financial situation. The truth is, He cares about every detail of your life, including your need for economic security. By trusting His directions about how to acquire and use money, you can experience peace, contentment, and joy.

When it comes to finances, three basic truths should govern our thinking:

  1. God owns it all.
    2. We are managers of His possessions.
    3. We are responsible and will one day give an account to Him for the way we used His resources.

True financial security comes only when we use God’s money His way for His purposes. He alone knows the future and has the power to provide for our needs, whereas any financial strategy we might devise is backed only by human effort and wisdom.

Don’t you want to experience the stability of internal peace, even during an economic earthquake? Trusting in the Lord’s provision and obeying His instructions will fill you with confidence when others are gripped by fear and uncertainty. Rest in the knowledge that God provides for His children.

Bible in One Year: 2 Samuel 18-19

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Only by Prayer

 

Read: Mark 9:14–29 | Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 15–16; Luke 10:25–42

Everything is possible for one who believes. Mark 9:23

My friend called me late one night during her cancer treatment. Grieved by her uncontrollable sobs, I soon added my own tears and a silent prayer. What am I supposed to do, Lord?

Her wails squeezed my heart. I couldn’t stop her pain, fix her situation, or find one intelligible word of encouragement. But I knew who could help. As I wept with my friend, stumbling through a prayer, I whispered repeatedly, “Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.”

When we call on the name of Jesus, He can enable us to believe and rely on the power of His presence.

Her cries quieted to sniffs and whimpers, until her breathing slowed. Her husband’s voice startled me. “She’s asleep,” he said. “We’ll call tomorrow.”

I hung up, weeping prayers into my pillow.

The apostle Mark shares a story of another person who wanted to help his loved one. A desperate father brought his suffering son to Jesus (Mark 9:17). Doubt clung to his plea, as he reiterated the impossibility of their circumstances (vv. 20–22) and acknowledged his need for Jesus to empower his belief (v. 24). The father and son experienced freedom, hope, and peace when Jesus stepped in and took control (vv. 25–27).

When loved ones are hurting, it’s natural to want to do the right things and say the perfect words. But Christ is the only One who can truly help us. When we call on the name of Jesus, He can enable us to believe and rely on the power of His presence.

Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Oh, how we need You, Jesus.

The name of Jesus is the powerful prayer that leads us into His mighty presence.

 

http://www.odb.org

Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – THE BLESSING OF FORGIVENESS

 

2 Chronicles 6:12–39

After buying her morning paper, Patricia Machin returned home to learn that her husband had been killed by a careless driver. Following the accident, she wrote a letter offering forgiveness to the driver, Brian Williamson: “However bad this accident was for me, I realize it was 1,000 times worse for you.” Patricia recognized the extraordinary blessing of offering forgiveness.

To be forgiven is indeed an extraordinary gift, modeled for us by God Himself. For the next five days, we’re going to explore how forgiveness is a blessing. Today’s passage transcribes Solomon’s prayer of dedication for the temple. He knelt, with his hands extended toward heaven, and addressed God: “There is no God like you in heaven or on earth” (v. 14). He praised God’s greatness, and declared that this earthly temple—no matter how grand—could not contain Him (v. 18).

Recognizing the exalted nature of God and the earthly nature of God’s people, Solomon asked that God hear their prayers—and when He hears their confessions, that He would forgive them (v. 21). Notice how often Solomon makes the plea in these verses: “hear from heaven and forgive” (vv. 25, 27, 30, 39). No matter what circumstances might afflict God’s people, they must come to the Lord and plead for His forgiveness.

God cannot ignore sin, but He also extends the blessing of forgiveness. This gift of forgiveness is not for the purpose of enabling us to persist in sin; rather, forgiveness gives us the blessing of being able to follow God and serve Him. “Forgive, and deal with everyone according to all they do, since you know their hearts (for you alone know the human heart), so that they will fear you and walk in obedience to you” (vv. 30–31).

APPLY THE WORD

You have been given the extraordinary gift of forgiveness. Confess your sins to God, knowing that He hears you from heaven. When you are finished, thank Him for the blessing of His forgiveness. How wonderful to know that God not only knows us but also has promised to forgive us. This should increase our desire to serve Him well.

 

http://www.todayintheword.org

Joyce Meyer – Let Your Light Shine

 

You are the light of [Christ to] the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. — Matthew 5:14

As believers in Christ, we can be bubbling over with life. We can be vibrant, alive, active, energized, peaceful, and joy-filled.

It is our approach to God that determines our attitude and countenance. When we approach God with boldness, thankful for His grace and confident that He loves us and He is for us, we can’t help but be full of life. However, a legalistic, religious approach to God steals life. It does not nourish it. Remember, Paul said, “The Law kills, but the Spirit makes alive” (2 Corinthians 3:6 AMPC). When we follow the Spirit, we feel alive.

Each of us should ask ourselves the question, Would people want what I have by watching my life and looking at my countenance? Is my life reflecting a thankful, expectant heart, excited about what God is going to do each new day?

We are to be the light of the world. Make sure your light is shining brightly today.

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for Your unconditional love. Help me to receive Your love and see myself the way You see me. Please allow Your love to flow to me and through me to other people. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – His Gifts and Powers 

 

“It is the same and only Holy Spirit who gives all these gifts and powers, deciding which each of us should have” (1 Corinthians 12:11).

As I counsel in the area of Christian service, I find much confusion among many Christians regarding the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Believers often are so involved in trying to discover or receive additional spiritual gifts that they are not developing and using their known gifts and abilities to do God’s will.

For this reason, I caution against going to great lengths to discover one’s spiritual gifts. Rather than emphasize gifts, I encourage a person to surrender fully to the lordship of Jesus Christ and appropriate by faith the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

Then, by faith and hard work, while depending on the Holy Spirit, a person can set out with determination to accomplish that to which God has called him.

Paul wrote about this important principle in his letter to the Philippians:

“Dearest friends, when I was there with you, you were always so careful to follow my instructions. And now that I am away you must be even more careful to do the good things that result from being saved, obeying God with deep reverence, shrinking back from all that might displease Him….

“For I can do everything God asks me to do with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power” (Philippians 2:12; 4-13). This, of course, can be done only if a Christian totally submits himself to the lordship of Jesus Christ and the control of the Holy Spirit.

Bible Reading:I Corinthians 12:1-10

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I’ll be more concerned about being yielded to the moment-by-moment direction and control of God’s Holy Spirit than about discovering my spiritual gift(s).

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Battling Anxiety

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

It’s two-thirty in the morning. Everyone is asleep. Everyone, that is, except you! Thoughts rage through your mind. The green numbers on the clock are the only lights in your room, indeed the only lights in your life. Another hour passes. What a mess!

What does all this anxiety, all this restlessness mean? Simply this– you are a human. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure. It doesn’t mean your parents failed you or vice versa. And, this is important, it doesn’t mean you are not a Christian. Jesus battled anxiety, for heaven’s sake! In the Garden of Gethsemane he prayed three times that he wouldn’t have to drink of the cup (Matthew 26:36-44). He was anxious, but he didn’t stay anxious. He entrusted his fears to his heavenly Father and completed his earthly mission with faith. And he will help us to do likewise!

Read more Anxious for Nothing

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

http://www.maxlucado.com

Denison Forum – The crisis in Syria: What to know and how to pray

Syria is one of the oldest countries in the world, with cultural artifacts in the region dating to 10,000 BC. It is also one of the newest countries in the world, achieving autonomy from occupying French troops in 1946.

This war-torn country is making headlines again with reports of a horrific chemical attack against civilians. According to this morning’s New York Times, President Trump could order airstrikes in retaliation as soon as today.

What do you need to know about Syria? How can you pray in response?

Who is fighting? Why?

Hafez al-Assad became the Syrian ruler in a 1970 coup. After his death in 2000, his son Bashar al-Assad was elected president (he ran unopposed).

Peaceful protests, as part of the 2011 Arab Spring, were repressed by the Syrian army. The ensuing civil war has involved the Syrian Arab Republic (Assad’s government), the North Syria Federation (primarily the Kurds), the Free Syrian Army (supported by Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, France, and Germany), Tahrir al-Sham (composed of al-Qaeda supporters and other jihadists), and the Islamic State.

Continue reading Denison Forum – The crisis in Syria: What to know and how to pray