Charles Stanley – The Source of Strength

 

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Nobody brags about weaknesses. In a culture where independence, physical fitness, and self-sufficiency are highly valued, we try hard to hide any inadequacy or limitation. We want to appear competent and capable of handling whatever comes our way.

But self-reliance is not highly valued by the Lord. Salvation itself requires that we humble ourselves, admit we are helpless sinners, and come empty- handed to Jesus Christ, relying on Him to save us. Even in the church, we are called to share our struggles, confess our sins to one another, and pray for each other.

Weakness is our friend, not an enemy. Human pride is a potent force, which must be uprooted. And weakness is often the tool God uses. In Paul’s life, it was a “thorn in the flesh”; in ours, it might be illness, aging, financial need, or anything else that brings us to our knees. But what a good place this is—kneeling before God, asking for His help.

Everyone has a certain amount of fortitude, but human capacity can carry a person only so far. Some situations sap every drop of energy we have and demand still more. When we can’t take another step, Christ will carry us through.

Our weakness brings us to a place of humility and lets God demonstrate His power in us. Only then do we find the energy, courage, and peace we need to go on living for His glory. He will empower us not only to endure the ordeal but also to go through it with inexplicable gladness.

Bible in One Year: 2 Kings 16-17

 

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Our Daily Bread — Wisdom’s Call

 

Read: Proverbs 8:10–21 | Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 1–2; Luke 19:28–48

Wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Proverbs 8:11

Malcolm Muggeridge, the noted British journalist and social critic, came to faith in Christ at the age of sixty. On his seventy-fifth birthday he offered twenty-five insightful observations about life. One said, “I never met a rich man who was happy, but I have only very occasionally met a poor man who did not want to become a rich man.”

Most of us would agree that money can’t make us happy, but we might like to have more so we can be sure.

God offers the true riches of wisdom to all who seek and follow Him.

King Solomon’s net worth has been estimated at more than two trillion US dollars. Although he was very wealthy, he knew that money had great limitations. Proverbs 8 is based on his experience and offers “Wisdom’s Call” to all people. “I raise my voice to all mankind. . . . My mouth speaks what is true” (vv. 4–7). “Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her” (vv. 10–11).

Wisdom says, “My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver. I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice, bestowing a rich inheritance on those who love me and making their treasuries full” (vv. 19–21).

These are true riches indeed!

Lord, thank You for the riches of Your wisdom that guide our steps today.

God offers the true riches of wisdom to all who seek and follow Him.

By David C. McCasland

INSIGHT

In the Old Testament the word most often translated “wisdom” (hokmah) refers to persons having an exceptional degree of “skill” in a given area—a speaker’s use of words or a composer’s skill in putting notes together to make music, for example. In Exodus 31:6 the skill of a craftsman is the focus.

In Proverbs the dominant word for wisdom is also hokmah. Wisdom in Proverbs is not simply one who possesses a masterful mind. It’s also a matter of the heart; it’s a moral quality. Wise persons are those who fear the Lord and subsequently make choices that honor God, oneself, and others. The wise person is one who is skilled in godly living. Wisdom (a feminine noun) is personified as a woman (see Proverbs 9). Her virtues are many and she pursues and rewards those who pursue her (3:13–18).

How attentive to the riches of wisdom are you in this season of your life?

Arthur Jackson

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – The Scene of Miracle

The 1748 essay “Of Miracles” by David Hume was influential in leading the charge against the miraculous, thoughts that were later sharpened (though also later recanted) by Antony Flew. Insisting the laws of a natural world incompatible with the supernatural, the new atheists continue to weigh in on the subject today. With them, many Christian philosophers and scientists, who are less willing to define miracle as something that must break the laws of nature, join the conversation with an opposing gusto. Physicist and Anglican priest John Polkinghorne, for instance, suggests that miracles are not violations of the laws of nature but rather “exploration of a new regime of physical experience.”(1)

The possibility or impossibility of the miraculous fills books, debates, and lectures. What it does not fill is that moment when a person finds herself—rationally or otherwise—crying out for intervention, for help and assurance, indeed, for the miraculous. “For most of us” writes C.S. Lewis, “the prayer in Gethsemane is the only model. Removing mountains can wait.”(2) To this I would simply add that often prayer is both: both the anguished cry of Gethsemane—”please, take this from me”—prayed at the foot of an impossible mountain.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – The Scene of Miracle

Joyce Meyer – Be Confident in Christ

 

I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.] — Philippians 4:13

You were created by a great God to do great things. But without confidence you will never fulfill your destiny. It is important, however, to remember you are to be confident not in yourself but in Christ who dwells in you.

Satan tries to steal your confidence, but you must resist him at all times. If he has tormented you with fears about your worth and abilities, boldly remind him God is with you and you are equal to anything.

It is encouraging to know God is able even when you are not. He has His eye on you and is waiting for you to show confidence in Him. Faith opens the door for God’s greatness to be seen through your life, so trust Him and enjoy the peace and power of a confident life.

Prayer Starter: Father, please strengthen my faith and help me to believe I can do anything You put in my heart to do. Allow me to live with confidence, knowing You are with me every moment. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Cleansed From Sin

 

“But if we are living in the light of God’s presence, just as Christ does, then we have wonderful fellowship and joy with each other, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from every sin” (1 John 1:7).

A pastor I know had once delighted in studying and preaching the Word of God. In his earlier days, he had been a real soul-winner, but the time came when he no longer spent time reading and studying the Scriptures. He became critical, discouraged and pessimistic. Finally, his personal life and his family fell apart.

At one point, he told me, he was thinking about committing suicide. He could have been spared all of this heartache, tragedy and sorrow if only he had continued to study the Word of God, to meditate on its truths and to obey its commands.

As someone wisely said, “Sin will keep you from God’s Word, or God’s Word will keep you from sin.”

Many of the problems we experience in the Christian life are self-imposed. They are the result of carelessness in the way we walk. The promises of God are true; you can stake your life on them. The way to supernatural living is to walk with God in the light of His presence.

“God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. So if we say we are His friends, but go on living in spiritual darkness and sin, we are lying. But if we are living in the light of God’s presence…then we have wonderful fellowship and joy…” (1 John 1:5-7, LB).

Bible Reading:I John 2:1-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  Claiming the power of the Holy Spirit, I will continue to live in the light of God’s presence and explain to those who walk in darkness how they too can walk in the light of God’s presence and in joyful fellowship with our risen Savior.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Scrooge Didn’t Create the World

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Scrooge didn’t create the world– God did! Psalm 104 celebrates this lavish creation with twenty-three verses of itemized blessings: the heavens and the earth, the waters and the streams and trees and the oil and bread and the people and the lions. God is the source of “innumerable teeming things,” writes the Psalmist, “living things both small and great…These all wait for You, that You may give them their food in due season” (vs. 15, 27). And He does!

God is the great giver. The great provider. The fount of every blessing. God owns everything and gives us all things to enjoy. Move from the fear of scarcity to the comfort of provision. Less hoarding and more sharing. The resounding and recurring message of Scripture is clear. God owns it all. God shares it all. Trust him—not stuff!

Read more Fearless

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

 

http://www.maxlucado.com

Denison Forum – Duke and Duchess of Cambridge reveal their baby’s name

Three people are leading the news this morning.

The first: Louis Arthur Charles.

Prince William and Kate Middleton announced this morning the name they have chosen for their baby boy. He will be known as “His Royal Highness Prince Louis of Cambridge.” He is fifth in line to the throne.

The second: Baker Mayfield.

The Cleveland Browns surprised the football world by making the former Oklahoma quarterback the first player chosen in last night’s NFL draft. Mayfield won a plethora of awards this year, including the Heisman Trophy. Despite his height, he is known for his accuracy and athleticism.

We know that Mayfield will begin his professional career with great fanfare. However, we don’t know how he will end it.

Defensive end Myles Garrett was picked first last year by the Cleveland Browns, but he played in only ten games due to injury. Quarterback JaMarcus Russell, selected first in 2007, played only three years in the league. Quarterback Tim Couch was picked first in 1999 but played only six seasons.

A tragic chapter in a celebrated story Continue reading Denison Forum – Duke and Duchess of Cambridge reveal their baby’s name