Charles Stanley – Passing Down a Legacy of Faith

 

2 Timothy 1:1-9

What do you want to pass down to your children? We’d probably all like to provide a large inheritance, but there’s something even more valuable—a spiritual legacy.

Paul admired the faith heritage that was passed down to Timothy by his mother and grandmother. Although Eunice and Lois could not bestow salvation on Timothy, they modeled their faith in God and His Word. Timothy’s greatest inheritance was spiritual instruction and godly examples from these influential women. Mothers and fathers who desire to pass along a faith legacy will make the following values part of their life:

Principles. Know and practice biblical principles. Parents can’t pass down what they don’t possess, but those who love and obey God’s Word will eagerly share what they’ve learned.

Pattern. Apply scriptural principles to your life and live them out in front of your children. A consistent pattern of obedience to God inspires children to seek Him, whereas saying one thing but doing another sets a poor example.

Persistence. Never give up in your attempts to impart spiritual knowledge. I learned this wise habit from my mother, who set out to instill in me the values needed to become a godly adult. To teach a particular lesson, she’d keep telling and showing me until she was satisfied I’d gotten the message.

It’s never too late to begin crafting a faith heritage. Like Timothy’s mother and grandmother, let’s not settle for merely raising our children to adulthood. Instead, our goal should be to become godly examples who inspire and teach them to love and follow Jesus.

Bible in One Year: 2 Chronicles 11-14

 

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Our Daily Bread — Not What It Seems

 

Read: 2 Kings 19:29–37 | Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 19–21; John 4:1–30

Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. 1 John 4:1

“Listen!” my wife said to me over the phone. “There’s a monkey in our yard!” She held up the phone so I could hear. And yes, it sounded just like a monkey. Which is weird, because the nearest wild monkey was 2,000 miles away.

Later, my father-in-law burst our bubble. “That’s a barred owl,” he explained. Reality was not what it had seemed.

His hand is on those who follow Him, and He will never abandon us.

When King Sennacherib’s armies had Judah’s King Hezekiah trapped inside Jerusalem’s walls, the Assyrians thought victory was theirs. Reality proved different. Although the Assyrian field commander used smooth words and pretended to speak for God, the Lord had His hand on His people.

“Have I come to attack and destroy this place without word from the Lord?” the commander asked (2 Kings 18:25). As he tried to entice Jerusalem to surrender, he even said, “Choose life and not death!” (v. 32).

That sounds like something God would say. But the prophet Isaiah told the Israelites the true words of the Lord. “[Sennacherib] will not enter this city or shoot an arrow here,” God said. “I will defend this city and save it” (19:32–34; Isaiah 37:35). That very night “the angel of the Lord” destroyed the Assyrians (v. 35).

From time to time, we’ll encounter smooth-talking people who “advise” us while denying God’s power. That isn’t God’s voice. He speaks to us through His Word. He guides us with His Spirit. His hand is on those who follow Him, and He will never abandon us.

Teach us to discern Your voice, Lord.

God is always trustworthy.

By Tim Gustafson |

 

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Ravi Zacharias Ministry – The Apologist’s First Question

 

I have little doubt that the single greatest obstacle to the impact of the Gospel has not been its inability to provide answers, but the failure on the part of Christians to live it out. I remember well in the early days of my Christian faith talking to a close Hindu friend. He was questioning the experience of conversion as being supernatural. He absolutely insisted that conversion was nothing more than a decision to lead a more ethical life and that, in most cases, it was not any different from other ethical religions. I had heard his argument before.

But then he said something I have never forgotten: “If this conversion is truly supernatural, why is it not more evident in the lives of so many Christians I know?” His question is a troublesome one. In fact, it is so deeply disturbing a question that I think of all the challenges to belief, this is the most difficult question of all. I have never struggled with my own personal faith as far as intellectual challenges to the Gospel are concerned. But I have often had struggles of the soul in trying to figure out why the Christian faith is not more visible.

After lecturing at a major American university, I was driven to the airport by the organizer of the event. I was quite jolted by what he told me. He said, “My wife brought our neighbor last night. She is a medical doctor and had not been to anything like this before. On their way home, my wife asked her what she thought of it all.” He paused and then continued, “Do you know what she said?” Rather reluctantly, I shook my head. “She said, ‘That was a very powerful evening. The arguments were very persuasive. I wonder what he is like in his private life.’”

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Joyce Meyer – Passing the Test

 

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test you [that is, to test the quality of your faith], as though something strange or unusual were happening to you. — 1 Peter 4:12

God sometimes allows us to be in less than desirable situations to test our “quality.” Quite often, He is planning a promotion for us in life if we pass the test in front of us. We are like children in school who must pass tests in order to be promoted to the next grade. Are you passing the test—refusing to murmur, complain, or blame when things don’t go your way?

You should praise and bless God while you are in the low valleys of life as well as when you are on the mountaintops. If you are in a difficult or trying situation right now, discipline yourself not to complain, but instead give praise and glory to God.

Prayer Starter: Father, You see my current circumstances, and Your Word says that You’ll never allow more to come on me than I can handle (see 1 Corinthians 10:13). Please help me to glorify You today…to press forward and do everything I need to do with a good attitude. Help me to press past my difficulties and never give up. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

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Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Will Take Care of Us

 

“He will take care of the helpless and poor when they cry to Him; for they have no one else to defend them” (Psalm 72:12). 

Some time ago, a French tourist set out to cross St. Bernard’s Pass by himself. When he got caught in the fog near the top, he sat on a rock and waited for one of the famous St. Bernard dogs, which have rescued thousands of lost travelers, to come and attend to him. But none came.

When the fog cleared away, he managed to reach the hospice. There he let it be known that he thought the dog a rather overrated animal.

“There I was,” he said, “for at least six hours, and not one came near me.” “But why,” exclaimed one of the monks, “did you not ring us up on the telephone?”

Then he explained to the astonished tourist that the whole of the pass is provided with shelters at short distances from each other – all in direct phone communication with the hospice. When the bell rings, the monks send off a dog loaded with bread, wine and other comforts.

The dog goes straight to the proper shelter. The system saves the hounds their former duty of patrolling the pass on the chance of a stray traveler being found, and as the pass is under deep snow for about eight months of the year, this entailed hard and often fruitless labor.

Many people in need of spiritual help have not yet realized there is One who will hear and answer directly the troubled cries for help.

Bible Reading:Psalm 72:13-19

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Remembering that we “have not because we ask not,” I’ll remember to call on a kind heavenly Father today and whenever I have a need.

 

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Max Lucado – No Pecking Orders with Jesus

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Love does not boast, it is not proud (1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV). Jesus has no room for pecking orders. His solution to man-made caste systems? A change of direction. In a world of upward mobility, choose downward servility. “Regard one another as more important than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3 NASB). Jesus flip-flopped the pecking order.

Would you do what Jesus did? He swapped a spotless castle for a grimy stable. He exchanged the worship of angels for the company of killers. If you knew that only a few could care that you came, would you still come? If you knew that those you loved would laugh in your face, would you still care? The palm that held the universe took the nail of a soldier. Why? Because that’s what love does! He loves you that much! Drink deeply of God’s love for you—and ask him to fill your heart with a love worth giving!

Read more A Love Worth Giving

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

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Denison Forum – The 70th anniversary of Israel: “If you will it, it is no dream”

On May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion gathered with 250 guests in the Tel Aviv Museum (known today as Independence Hall). Ben-Gurion was head of the World Zionist Organization, a movement dedicated to creating a homeland for the Jewish people in their historic Promised Land.

Behind him hung a portrait of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism. At 4:00 p.m., Ben-Gurion banged his gavel. He then read a proclamation declaring the existence of the modern State of Israel.

I have stood several times in Independence Hall. Each time, I am moved again by the courage of the men and women who risked their lives and families to birth their nation.

In a move timed to coincide with this dramatic anniversary, the United States is relocating its embassy to Jerusalem at 4:00 p.m. (8:00 a.m. in Dallas) today. Palestinian marches against the move have already begun.

Four biblical themes that explain modern-day Israel

In Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn, historian Daniel Gordis describes Israel as “a story of a homeless people that kept a dream alive for millennia, of a people’s redemption from the edge of the abyss, of a nation forging a future where none seemed possible.”

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