Charles Stanley – Heirs With Christ

 

Romans 8:12-18

How often do you think of yourself as an heir of God? It’s not usually the first thing that comes to mind as we consider the blessings that are ours when we accept Jesus Christ as Savior. Perhaps this is because we don’t really know what it means to be God’s heir. Nor can we begin to comprehend what awaits us in eternity or when that will be.

Being an heir is usually associated with family ties, and the same is true of our relationship to God. When we were born again by His Spirit, we became His adopted children, and as such, we are heirs along with Christ. In Colossians 1:15, Jesus is called “the firstborn of all creation.” In the ancient world, the firstborn son had a place of prominence in the family and was the chief heir of all that his father owned. In the same way, Jesus Christ holds the position of firstborn and is the heir of all creation.

What’s truly amazing is that He has promised to share His inheritance with us. When He returns in glory to take up His rightful place as King of Kings on earth, we will rule with Him, under His authority (Revelation 2:26-27). The Christian life is filled with undeserved favor. What we experience now of God’s grace is only the tip of the iceberg.

Realizing all that Christ has done and will do for His followers should prompt us to live for Him today. The Holy Spirit dwells within us, empowering us to put to death our fleshly desires and to follow God in obedience, even when it’s costly. Anything we suffer here for Christ’s sake is insignificant compared to the glory that awaits us.

Bible in One Year: 1 Chronicles 4-6

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Longing for God

 

Read: 1 John 4:13–16 | Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 12–13; Luke 22:1–20

My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Psalm 84:2

One day my daughter was visiting with our one-year-old grandson. I was getting ready to leave the house on an errand, but as soon as I walked out of the room my grandson began to cry. It happened twice, and each time I went back and spent a moment with him. As I headed out the door the third time, his little lip began to quiver again. At that point my daughter said, “Dad, why don’t you just take him with you?”

Any grandparent could tell you what happened next. My grandson went along for the ride, just because I love him.

Loving Lord, thank You for Your compassion for me.

How good it is to know that the longings of our hearts for God are also met with love. The Bible assures us that we can “know and rely on the love God has for us” (1 John 4:16). God doesn’t love us because of anything we have or haven’t done. His love isn’t based on our worthiness at all, but on His goodness and faithfulness. When the world around us is unloving and unkind, we can rely on God’s unchanging love as our source of hope and peace.

Our heavenly Father’s heart has gone out to us through the gift of His Son and His Spirit. How comforting is the assurance that God loves us with love that never ends!

Loving Lord, thank You for Your compassion for me, proven at the cross. Please help me to obey and love You today.

God longs for us to long for Him.

By James Banks

INSIGHT

Do you have a hard time relating to the love of God? Many of us think more with our heads than our hearts. John, a disciple of Jesus, is remembered as the apostle of love and referred to himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23).

John wrote more on love than any New Testament writer. But he wasn’t always so inclined. The gospel writer Luke remembers the day John and his brother James wanted to see Jesus call down fire from heaven on a Samaritan village that had turned Jesus away (Luke 9:51–56). Jesus let the two brothers know that their lack of empathy didn’t reflect His heart. Yet Jesus probably wasn’t surprised. Early on, and maybe with a smile, He had affectionately called them “sons of thunder” (Mark 3:17).

Yet John is the one who ends up being overwhelmed with the love of God and writes about the importance of loving others (1 John 3:16; 4:8, 16). What happened? Did he recognize the coldness of his own heart? Did he learn from Jesus that our ability to relate to the love of God may depend on our readiness to admit—and to be forgiven for—our lack of love? (John 3:16; Luke 7:37–50).

Mart DeHaan

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Credible Witnesses

As it happens every Easter season, various scholars and skeptics weigh in on whether or not Jesus was actually raised from the dead. Bart Ehrman’s book How Jesus Became God is a case in point. Writing as a historian, he questions many of the gospel remembrances of the events surrounding the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. His conclusion is that the gospels are not reliable, historical witnesses. But is this really the case?

A careful reading of the four evangelists’ remembrances of the resurrection does indeed reveal many different emphases and details. The Gospel of Matthew, for example, tells us that a great earthquake occurred as an angel of the Lord descended and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. The Gospel of Mark, on the other hand, tells us that a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe was inside the tomb to announce Jesus’s resurrection. The Gospel of Luke tells us that two men suddenly stood near the women in dazzling apparel and John’s Gospel reports the discovery of the linen wrappings abandoned in the empty tomb.(1)

There are many other differences in the retelling of the resurrection appearances of Jesus, and this should be expected from different testimonies. No two people report exactly the same details about any event or happening! But, there is one feature that is the same in all four gospel testimonies: the resurrection announcement is made first to the women who followed Jesus (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1; Luke 23:55-24:5; John 20:1). Many reasons have been offered as to why women serve as the immediate witnesses to the resurrection: the women stayed with him through the crucifixion, so he appeared first to those who stuck with him to the last; women traditionally carried out the burial rituals in first century Judaism, so they were witnesses by default. Others suggest that the first women witnesses represent Jesus’s elevation of the status for women of the first century and for women in general.

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Joyce Meyer – A Happy Heart Is Good Medicine

 

A happy heart is good medicine and a joyful mind causes healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones. — Proverbs 17:22

The more I ponder it, the more amazed I am that I can immediately increase or decrease my joy and the joy of others by simply choosing to say good things.

Joy is vital! Nehemiah 8:10 tells us joy is our strength. No wonder the devil works overtime trying to do anything he can to diminish our joy. Don’t sit by and let it happen to you. Fight the good fight with faith-filled words, releasing joy into the very atmosphere you are in.

Jesus came to bring good news and glad tidings of great joy, to overcome evil with good. He wants you to be as committed as He is to finding and magnifying the good in everything. Do yourself a favor and say something good!

Prayer Starter: Father, Help me to focus on the good things in life today and choose to live with joy. Let me to also use my words to be a source of joy to others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – The Right Priorities

 

“Constantly remind the people about these laws, and you yourself must think about them every day and every night so that you will be sure to obey all of them. For only then will you succeed” (Joshua 1:8).

Jim was a driven man. He loved his wife and his four children. But the thing that consumed almost every waking thought was, “How can I be a greater success? How can I earn the praise of men?”

Through neglect his family began to disintegrate, and he came to me for counsel. His wife was interested in another man; he was alienated from his children. Three were involved in drugs and one had attempted suicide twice.

“Where have I gone wrong?” Jim asked.

I reminded him of the Scripture, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?”

According to Scripture, a man’s priorities are first, to love God with all his heart, his soul and his mind, and then to love his neighbor as himself. Since his closest neighbors are his wife and children, his second priority is his wife. A good marriage takes the Ephesians 5:25 kind of love. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church,” a sacrificial, giving love.

The third priority is his children. He must show love to them, not by giving them things, but by giving them himself, spending time with them, letting them know they are far more important to him than his business.

A man must love his wife and children unconditionally as God loves him – not when, if, or because they are good and deserve to be loved.

And the fourth priority I discussed with Jim was his business. A man’s business must be dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jim surrendered his life to Christ. After almost three years of implementing the Bible’s priorities, Jim’s family again was united in the love of Christ, and God had given Jim and his wife a new-found love for Himself and for each other.

The law of God is clear: When we disobey Him, he disciplines us as a loving father and mother discipline their child, and when we obey Him, He will bless us.

Bible Reading:James 2:-8

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I will seek to please the Lord in all that I do, knowing that I will experience His blessings when I obey Him, and His discipline when I disobey Him.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Living Loved

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

The secret to loving is living loved. It’s the forgotten first step in relationships. Remember Paul’s prayer? “May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love” (Ephesians 3:17 NLT).

Many people tell us to love. Only God gives us the power to do so. We know what God wants us to do. “This is what God commands. . .that we love each other.”  (1 John 3:23). But how can we? How can we be kind to those who are unkind to us? How can we love as God loves? By being loved. By following the principle: receive first and love second. God loves you personally…powerfully…passionately! He loves you with an unfailing love. Others have promised and failed. But God has promised and succeeded!

Read more A Love Worth Giving

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

http://www.maxlucado.com

Denison Forum – What Meghan Markle must do to become British

As most of the planet knows, Meghan Markle will marry Prince Harry in seventeen days. However, the British have a rule: they want their royal family to be British. And she’s American.

For her to become a British citizen, she must have lived in Britain for three years, have a good knowledge of English, be of sound mind, and pass the “Life in the UK” test. To fulfill the last requirement, she must successfully answer eighteen out of twenty-four questions selected from some three thousand facts.

She might be asked the age of “Big Ben” (it was cast on April 10, 1858) or the height of the London Eye Ferris wheel (135 meters—I had to look up both answers). More than a third of those who recently took the test failed it. One applicant failed it sixty times.

And there’s one other requirement: the couple must earn a combined 18,600 pounds (approximately $25,000). Since the royal family is worth $88 billion, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Not everyone is happy with the “Life in the UK” test. A report last month by Britain’s House of Lords committee on citizenship stated, “The current test seems to be, and to be regarded as, a barrier to acquiring citizenship rather than a means of creating better citizens.”

Loneliness in America

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