Charles Stanley – The Call of God

 

1 Samuel 3:2-18

As a young child, Samuel lived in the temple with his mentor, Eli the priest. One night, after hearing his name called, the boy ran to ask Eli what he wanted. The priest, however, hadn’t spoken, so he sent the child back to bed. This happened two more times before Eli realized that the Lord was the one calling the boy. Then he instructed Samuel to respond by asking the Lord what He wanted to say.

Almighty God still speaks to us today. For example, we start hearing Him when He calls us to salvation. The Holy Spirit makes us aware that something is missing in our life, and then He points us to Jesus Christ as the answer.

Without the Savior, we are lost and hopeless. Everyone is born with a sinful nature that’s bent away from God. The Father, who is holy and perfect, requires holiness in His presence. Therefore, the penalty for sin is death—eternal separation from Him. But God loves us, so to correct that situation, Jesus came to earth, lived the perfect life, and died as a substitute for mankind. He took the penalty for our sin.

Salvation is the greatest gift. To receive it, all we have to do is trust in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Then, He abides with us and continues to speak, gently guiding and encouraging us toward righteousness.

Have you sensed the heavenly Father speaking to you? If so, don’t delay. Ask Him to forgive your sin; then accept Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice on your behalf, and choose to follow Him. Share your decision with a pastor or trusted Christian friend so that you can have guidance on this beautiful new journey.

Bible in One Year: 1 Chronicles 13-15

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Keeping Close

 

Read: Deuteronomy 6:1–9 | Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 19–20; Luke 23:1–25

Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Deuteronomy 6:8

My mile-long walk home from dropping off my daughter at her school gives me the opportunity to memorize some verses from the Bible—if I’m intentional about doing so. When I take those minutes to turn over God’s Word in my mind, I often find them coming back to me later in the day, bringing me comfort and wisdom.

When Moses prepared the Israelites to enter the Promised Land, he urged them to hold close to God’s commands and decrees (Deuteronomy 6:1–2). Wanting them to flourish, he said they should turn these instructions over in their minds and discuss them with their children (vv. 6–7). He even said to tie them to their wrists and bind them to their foreheads (v. 8). He didn’t want them to forget God’s instructions to live as people who honored the Lord and enjoyed His blessings.

Surround yourself with God’s Word.

How might you consider God’s words today? One idea is to write out a verse from Scripture, and every time you wash your hands or take a drink, read the words and turn them over in your mind. Or before you go to sleep, consider a short passage from the Bible as the last act of the day. Many are the ways of keeping God’s Word close to our hearts!

Lord God, thank You for giving us the Bible, which is a wellspring for life. Help us to read and digest it today.

Surround yourself with God’s Word.

By Amy Boucher Pye

INSIGHT

Today’s reading contains the Shema—the centerpiece of Israel’s belief in one God. It’s based on the Hebrew word for hear: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4). Verses 6–9 emphasize how we are to make the Scriptures a vital part of our lives so they will affect what we do and what we think about. It’s the meditation of the mind and application of the heart that translates divine truth into transformed living.

Dennis Fisher

 

http://www.odb.org

Wisdom Hunters – Raising Teenagers

  

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.  Ephesians 6:4

It’s hard not to be exasperated by a teenager and hard not to exasperate a teenager. For those who think they know everything, it seems impossible to tell them anything.Yet, God gives parents teenagers so they can learn laughter, wisdom, forgiveness, trust and the grace of imposing guidelines. After all, the older a teenager becomes the less a parent can control them—and more is their felt need to give them over to the Lord’s accountability.

Indeed, tension arises in the transition from immaturity to maturity. It’s during this avalanche of emotions that someone has to act like the adult. The parent is positioned by the Lord to be this voice of reason, as the transitioning teenager has yet to qualify. So, persistent prayer, patience and pardon go a long way in promoting peace in the home.

“Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father’s wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him” (Genesis 37:2-3).

Fathers, these passionate pre-adults need your firm and loving leadership as they learn how to manage their freedoms. Mom is the gentle nurturer when they are in grade school, but as they acquire acne you protect your wife from being taken advantage of with your wise and caring leadership. Most of all, remember to be intentional in your relational investment with your young person, as rules without relationship leads to rebellion.

Do you feel taken advantage of, lied to and manipulated? Is so, welcome to the world of hormones hijacking the heart of some self absorbed teens. On the other hand, thank the Lord for those young people who, because of God’s grace, have grown in character and their care for others. Make sure to give these models of faithfulness positive feedback. It’s easy to only give attention to the troublemakers and take for granted the good kids.

Above all else, pray together as husband and wife for your teenagers to fear God, love Him and obey Christ’s commands. Ask the Lord to fill you with the Holy Spirit, so you can model for them what it means to be a loving disciple of Jesus. Confess your faults to the Lord and your child—and ask for their forgiveness. Teenagers trust transparency. Train and instruct them in worship, Bible study, service, faith, love and grace based living.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me grace and patience to lead and love my teenager in a manner he or she feels loved and respected, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Application: How can I model for my teenager trust in the Lord with my decision-making?

Related Readings: Psalm 89:19; Proverbs 23:22;Lamentations 3:26-28; Matthew 18:21-22

Worship Resource: 3-minute music video- Courtney Patton: Take Your Shoes Off Moses

Taken from Seeking Daily the Heart of God v.2

 

http://www.wisdomhunters.com/

Joyce Meyer – You Could Use a Blessing

 

See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek that which is good for one another and for all people. — 1 Thessalonians 5:15

This Scripture in 1 Thessalonians tells us to always show kindness. Living in this generous kind of way is pleasing to God. There are many other scriptures that also tell us to be good to everybody, not just those we consider to be like-minded with or who are in our church.

Even if someone is your employee and they serve you, you should think of ways that you can serve them also. When you get your morning coffee, bring one for them. Pick up after yourself and don’t make extra work for them. The people who help us in our lives should always be shown appreciation.

My daughter once wrote a note of appreciation to her garbage collectors and gave them a gift card to get lunch. I think these things not only bless people, but can often be shocking because they almost never happen. The world is filled with people who work hard doing jobs that are not very pleasant, and yet nobody notices.

I once saw a woman cleaning the bathroom at a department store where I shop, and I gave her some money and said, “You look like you work hard and I thought you could use a blessing.” I smiled and quickly left. A few minutes later, she found me in the shoe department and expressed her gratitude and told me how this act of kindness lifted her up. She told me that she did indeed work hard and felt nobody paid much attention to that fact.

You’ll be amazed at how your joy will increase if you make a habit of noticing those who usually aren’t noticed. God watches out for them, and He will be delighted to have you make yourself available as His partner in this endeavor.

Prayer Starter: Father, help me to be a blessing to everyone I come in contact with today. Please lead and guide me by Your Spirit and show me practical ways I can encourage those who aren’t often recognized. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – How to Be Fearless

 

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?” (Psalm 27:1).

The psalmist David did not choose words carelessly – but under divine inspiration – when he spoke of lightand salvation.

Of all the memorials in Westminster Abbey, not one has a nobler thought inscribed on it than the monument to Lord Lawrence – simply his name, with the date of his death, and these words:

“He feared man so little because he feared God so much.”

Charles H. Spurgeon gives some helpful insights into Psalm 27:1.

“In the New Testament, the idea which is hinted at in the language of David is expressly revealed as a truth. God does not merely give us His light. He is light, just as He is love in His own uncreated nature.

“God is light, ‘John writes in his epistle,’ and in Him is no darkness at all.’ When John sought to teach us our Lord’s Godhead as clearly and as sharply as possible, he calls Him the ‘light,’ meaning to teach us that as such He shares the essential nature of the Deity.”

How wonderful that we need not live in darkness – in any sense of the word – but that we immediately can have the Light of Life, God Himself, available to us in the person of His indwelling Holy Spirit as well as in His inspired Word. Every prerequisite for the abundant, supernatural life has been made available to us, and access is immediate if we come to Him immediately with our needs.

Bible Reading:Psalm 27:2-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: With God’s help, I will follow Him who is my light and my salvation. I will have no fear of men or circumstances.

 

http://www.cru.org

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – Reserving the Empty Space in Your Heart


Read: Exodus 32:1-14

The people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain. (v. 1)

What is it about long-distance relationships that makes them so hard? Whenever someone moves, they quickly discover which friendships have deep enough roots to survive the arid conditions of occasional phone calls, letters, and visits. It is so much harder to stay friends with someone without the help of embodied, face-to-face fellowship. And yet that is exactly what God calls us to do when he commands us, “You shall not make for yourself an idol” (Exod. 20:4 NRSV).

In today’s passage, the people of Israel are impatient with God’s absence. Moses is taking forever to come back down the mountain, and they grow restless with God’s silence. They would rather worship a hunk of gold than wait and face the emptiness of the silence of God. In this way, their idolatry is a failure of patience. For us too it is so hard to wait in this in-between time between Jesus’ first and second coming. While we wait, God calls us to keep the house of our hearts clear of cluttering idols. There’s a deep longing inside us that will only be satisfied by Jesus Christ, when he returns. If idolatry is a failure of patience, then the opposite of idolatry is Christian hope, the conviction of things that we cannot yet see (Rom. 8:24-25; Heb. 11:1). Can you be vigilant, saying no to any idol that tries to fill the empty space of your heart? —Steven Rodriguez

Prayer: Lord, only you can satisfy my deepest longings. Fill me with holy, hopeful patience.

 

https://woh.org/

Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – THE ART OF HOLDING FAST

 

Revelation 2:12–17

The motto of Scotland’s Clan MacLeod is “Hold fast.” This could be the church’s motto. To be faithful we must hold fast to what we believe. More importantly, in order to be faithful we must hold fast to Jesus Christ. This can be hard to do when others around you compromise.

In the church in Pergamum, some claimed to be Christians but held to the teaching of Balaam, “who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin so that they ate food sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality” (v. 14). In other words, they tried to fit in with pagan culture. They ate food that had been sacrificed to idols and committed sexual immorality, probably as a result of attending pagan worship services.

Pagan worship was so entrenched in Pergamum that Jesus called it the place “where Satan has his throne” and the city “where Satan lives” (v. 13). Poverty-stricken Christians were tempted to participate in pagan festivals because free food was provided. Unfortunately, in addition to eating the food they also engaged in pagan worship and the sexual immorality that often accompanied it.

Jesus offered the example of Antipas. Church tradition says he was appointed bishop of the church by the apostle John and was eventually burned to death on a pagan altar. Jesus also reminded the church of His power, describing Himself as the one “who has the sharp, double-edged sword” (v. 12). The one who judges pagans also disciplines His church, and Jesus threatened to turn this double-edged sword against all who followed the example of the Nicolaitans instead of Antipas (v. 16).

To those who overcame the temptation to compromise their faith for the sake of a meal, Jesus promised to give “the hidden manna” (v. 17).

APPLY THE WORD

Have you been taking small steps away from the path of faithfulness? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal any of your rationalizations or excuses for compromising your faith. Think of godly examples who can encourage you, and hold fast by God’s grace. Choose to be fed by Jesus’ manna rather than chastened by His sword.

 

http://www.todayintheword.org