Charles Stanley – The Moments That Sustain Us

 

Psalm 145:1-21

Every believer experiences moments of challenge or discomfort. The question is, How do we deal with them? King David discovered that remaining strong and fruitful during trying circumstances begins with praising the Lord. Then, once his focus shifted upward, he was ready to meditate on the glorious splendor of God’s majesty and also on His wonderful works (Psalm 145:5).

Meditation involves Bible reading but goes far beyond skimming a section the way we might with any other book. Instead, we need to pray over the verses, asking God to show us by His Spirit what the passage means, what it says about Him, and how we can apply His words to our life.

What keeps us from meditating upon the Lord and His Word? We live in such a busy culture that it’s often difficult for us to slow down, settle our racing thoughts, and sit quietly with God’s Word before us. As we try to concentrate, our minds are bombarded with thoughts of all we need to do. Being with the Lord may not seem as urgent as our other tasks, but it’s much more important.

Meditating on Scripture increases our thirst for God, enlarges our perspective of Him, teaches us to think biblically, and increases our discernment. The insights we gain from His Word bring encouragement, reminding us of God’s constant presence and strengthening us for whatever lies ahead.

The spiritual benefits of time alone with the Lord are worth whatever sacrifice we have to make. Through meditation, our heart begins to digest the truths we know intellectually so they can impact our everyday life.

Bible in One Year: 2 Kings 7-9

 

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Our Daily Bread — he Waiting Place

 

Read: Psalm 70 | Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 19–20; Luke 18:1–23

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7

“Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite. Or waiting around for Friday night . . . . Everyone is just waiting”—or so Dr. Seuss, author of many children’s books, says.

So much of life is about waiting, but God is never in a hurry—or so it seems. “God has His hour and delay,” suggests an old, reliable saying. Thus we wait.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. Psalm 37:7

Waiting is hard. We twiddle our thumbs, shuffle our feet, stifle our yawns, heave long sighs, and fret inwardly in frustration. Why must I live with this awkward person, this tedious job, this embarrassing behavior, this health issue that will not go away? Why doesn’t God come through?

God’s answer: “Wait awhile and see what I will do.”

Waiting is one of life’s best teachers for in it we learn the virtue of . . . well, waiting—waiting while God works in us and for us. It’s in waiting that we develop endurance, the ability to trust God’s love and goodness, even when things aren’t going our way (Psalm 70:5).

But waiting is not dreary, teeth-clenched resignation. We can “rejoice and be glad in [Him]” while we wait (v. 4). We wait in hope, knowing that God will deliver us in due time—in this world or in the next. God is never in a hurry, but He’s always on time.

Dear Lord, thank You for Your loving presence. Help us to make the most of our waiting through trust in and service for You.

God is with us in our waiting.

By David H. Roper

INSIGHT

David wrote Psalm 70 (a song of lament or complaint) from a place of waiting. He waited for God to deliver him, to save him from “those who want to take [his] life” and “desire [his] ruin” (vv. 1–2). We don’t know the setting and circumstances of this lament, but we do know that for years David ran from King Saul and his army who wished to kill him (1 Samuel 19:1–2, 11; 20:30–33; 21:10–15; 23:15). David also waited for years to rule Israel, even though the prophet Samuel had anointed him king while David (Jesse’s youngest son) still watched his father’s sheep and Saul still reigned (16:1–13). We see Psalm 70 stated (in slightly different words) in Psalm 40:11–17. Though David waited for deliverance—and endured hardship as he did—he was still able to exclaim wholeheartedly, “The Lord is great!” (40:16; 70:4) and “You are my help and my deliverer” (40:17; 70:5).

When have you cried out to God, longing for Him to rescue you from a difficult situation? How can you praise Him as you wait?

Alyson Kieda

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Of Supermen and Sacrifice

One of Friedrich Nietzsche’s sustained critiques of Christianity was that it promoted weakness as a virtue. He argued in his book On the Genealogy of Morals that Christianity promotes a “slave morality.”(1) Looking at the Beatitude sayings of Jesus as the centerpiece of this morality, Nietzsche railed against this unique vision of life, particularly as it was embodied in Jesus as the “suffering servant.” The moral solution, for Nietzsche, was to argue for the exact opposite; the will to power by the ubermensch, serving no one and dominating all others was the virtue of assertive power.

While one might either recoil at Nietzsche’s criticism or agree with his radical vision of power, the clarity of his insights into the heart of Christianity cannot be dismissed easily. For in Jesus’s very first sermon, he declares that the poor in spirit, the meek, those who have been persecuted, and the peacemakers are blessed.(2) Indeed, Jesus extends an radical call to what Nietzsche would deem weakness: “Do not resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone wants to sue you, and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. And whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.” If this wasn’t enough, Jesus elsewhere tells his followers that “whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s shall save it.”(3)

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Joyce Meyer – You Can Be Brave

But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the right [the authority, the privilege] to become children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name. — John 1:12

“To get” means to obtain by struggle and effort, but “to receive” means to simply take in what is being offered. Our relationship with God was never intended to be complicated and based upon our own works. The more we learn how to receive from God by faith, the simpler and more enjoyable our walk with Him becomes.

You can keep your relationship with God simple by receiving His unconditional love and believing His Word no matter what you think or how you feel. You can receive by faith all that He offers, even though you know full well that you don’t deserve it. And you can choose to lean on, trust in, and rely on Him to meet every need you have instead of worrying and trying to figure things out.

And with His help (grace), you can obey Him and grow in spiritual maturity by knowing His will and receiving His best for your life!

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for the incredible privilege of being Your child. Today, by faith, I choose to receive the blessings You have for me—Your love, mercy, forgiveness, strength, wisdom, joy, peace, and every good thing You have in store for my life. Help me to receive from You with simple child-like faith. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Poor, Blind and Naked

 

“You say, ‘I am rich, with everything I want; I don’t need a thing!” And you don’t realize that spiritually you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked” (Revelation 3:17). 

George had come for a week of lay training at Arrowhead Springs. Following one of my messages on revival, in which I explained that most Christians are like the members of the church at Ephesus and Laodicea, as described in Revelation 2 and 3, he came to share with me how, though he was definitely lukewarm and had lost his first love, he frankly had never read those passages, had never heard a sermon such as I had presented and therefore did not realize how wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked he was.

If there were such an instrument as a “faith thermometer,” at what level would your faithfulness register? Hot? Lukewarm? Cold?

Jesus said to the church at Laodicea, “I know you well – you are neither hot nor cold; I wish you were one or the other! But since you are merely lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth!” (Revelation 3:15).

Again, I ask you, where does your faithfulness register on that faith thermometer?

The greatest tragedy in the history of nations is happening right here in America. Here we are, a nation founded by Christians, a nation founded upon godly principles, a nation blessed beyond all the nations of history for the purpose of doing God’s will in the world. But most people in this country, including the majority of church members, have without realizing it become materialistic and humanistic, all too often worshiping man and his achievements instead of the only true God.

Granted, the opinion polls show meteoric growth in the number of people in America who claim to be born-again Christians. But where does their faith register on the faith thermometer? America is a modern-day Laodicea. We are where we are today because too many Christians have quenched the Holy Spirit in their lives.

Bible Reading:Revelation 3:14-19

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  Realizing that America cannot become spiritually renewed without individual revival, I will humble myself, and pray, and seek God’s face, and turn from my wicked ways. By faith I will claim revival in my own heart.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Stop Being Uneasy About Your Life

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Worry has more questions than answers, more work than energy, and thinks often about giving up. There’s not enough time, luck, credit, wisdom, or intelligence. We’re running out of everything it seems, and so we worry.  But worry doesn’t work. You can dedicate a decade of anxious thoughts to the brevity of life, and not extend it by one minute. Worry accomplishes nothing.

God doesn’t condemn legitimate concern for responsibilities but rather the continuous mind-set that dismisses God’s presence. Destructive anxiety subtracts God from the future and tallies up the challenges of the day without entering God into the equation. Jesus gives us this challenge: “Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else and live righteously; and he will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:32-33).

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For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

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Denison Forum – The royal baby: Good news on a hard day

Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, announced the birth of their third child yesterday. They followed centuries of tradition by notifying the sovereign first, in this case, Queen Elizabeth. Per tradition, they also did not reveal the gender of their child until he was born.

The royal baby will have a first name, then two or three middle names, typically names that have been used in the family for centuries. The latest royal baby might not be named until tomorrow, but betting companies have made “Arthur” the clear favorite for his first name.

Carl Sandburg was right: “A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.”

The fragility of life: Four examples

The royal baby’s birth was wonderful news on a hard day.

Continue reading Denison Forum – The royal baby: Good news on a hard day