Charles Stanley – Righteous Anger on Display

 

Numbers 25:1-18

Think about the times you have felt angry—what were the usual causes? In all honesty, most of us would have to admit that our irritation is often for selfish reasons. The book of James tells us that “the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God” (James 1:20). However, there is such a thing as righteous indignation, and it can be exercised to promote the work of God.

In today’s passage, we find an excellent example of this in Phinehas, who rose up to execute Zimri and Cozbi for their evil deeds. For this act, he was commended by God with the following words: “Phinehas … has turned away My wrath from the sons of Israel in that he was jealous with My jealousy among them” (Num. 25:11). God looked into the heart of Phinehas, saw his passion, and called it “My jealousy.” Of course, we cannot take the law into our own hands and begin executing people, but we can have the same attitude of heart that Phinehas had. This was a man who loved God so ardently that he couldn’t help but hate evil. He displayed the same wrath that drove Jesus to go through the temple with a whip of cords. (See John 2:13-17.) In both of these instances, zeal for God’s interests was demonstrated with anger.

How can we do this? It’s a matter of having God’s perspective and standing up for what is right. We can station ourselves at the door of our heart and put a spear through any unholy thought that tries to enter. Likewise, we can drive out the rivers of filth and immorality all around us, which try to enter our homes. As our love for God grows, so will our hatred of evil.

Bible in One Year: Ezra 8-10

 

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Our Daily Bread — Accidental Wisdom

 

Read: Philippians 4:4–9 | Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 25–27; John 9:1–23

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable . . . think about such things. Philippians 4:8

A few years ago, a woman shared with me a story about finding her preteen son watching news coverage of a violent event. Instinctively, she reached for the remote and changed the channel. “You don’t need to be watching that stuff,” she told him rather abruptly. An argument followed, and eventually she shared that he needed to fill his mind with “whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely . . .” (Philippians 4:8). After dinner, she and her husband were watching the news when suddenly their five-year-old daughter burst in and turned off the television. “You don’t need to be watching that stuff,” she declared in her best “mom” voice. “Now, think about those Bible things!”

As adults, we can better absorb and process the news than our children. Still, the couple’s daughter was both amusing and wise when she echoed her mother’s earlier instructions. Even well-adjusted adults can be affected by a steady diet of the darker side of life. Meditating on the kind of things Paul lists in Philippians 4:8 is a powerful antidote to the gloom that sometimes settles on us as we see the condition of our world.

What we let into our minds shapes the state of our souls.

Making careful decisions about what fills our minds is an excellent way to honor God and guard our hearts as well.

Father, open our eyes today to what’s beautiful. Teach us to meditate on You.

What we let into our minds shapes the state of our souls.

By Randy Kilgore

INSIGHT

The virtuous life described in Philippians 4:8 is to be the believer’s focus. What is “true” refers to basing one’s life on reality according to God’s Word. “Noble” means honest or worthy of respect. “Right” corresponds to a moral sense of what is fair. “Pure” indicates a character that is not polluted by sin. “Lovely” means expressing love toward others in relationships. Finally, “admirable” carries with it the idea of a positive reputation and reliable Christian character.

What are some specific ways you can display these virtues this week?

For further reading, see Kingdom Living: Embracing the Virtues of the King at discoveryseries.org/hp091.

Dennis Fisher

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Telling Stories

 

A British journalist by the name of Christopher Booker argues that all of literature can be classified into seven basic narratives. Though many would deem the idea itself deficient, Booker exhaustively identifies each category in his book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories. One such category he describes is the “Voyage and Return” plot. Here, Booker catalogs, among other works, Alice and Wonderland, Peter Rabbit, and Gone with the Wind, each of these stories chronicling a hero who travels away from the familiar and into the unfamiliar, only to return again with new perspective.

Among his list of “Voyage and Return” plots, Booker also identifies Jesus’s parable of the Prodigal Son. He describes the parable as many of us understand it. The younger son demands his inheritance, travels to another country, squanders his money until he has nothing left, and finally decides to come home again pleading for mercy. When told or heard like this, it is a story that indeed fits neatly into Booker’s category, and perhaps neatly into visions of the spiritual journey. Journeys to faith and to God are often stories of coming and going and returning again.

But is this an accurate understanding of the parable of Jesus? Is the story of the prodigal son really about the son? Is the spiritual journey about our coming and going or God’s?

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Telling Stories

Joyce Meyer – Never Go to Bed Angry

 

When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down. — Ephesians 4:26 AMPC

Now I don’t know about you, but I’m glad this verse is in the Bible because it helps us to build character by giving us a guideline to follow in handling our anger: Let go of anger before bedtime.

There is only one problem. What happens when we become good and mad just before bedtime? If we become mad in the morning, at least we have all day to get over it. But when we become mad close to bedtime, we have to make a quick decision.

Why is it so bad for us to go to bed angry? I think it is because while we sleep, what we are angry about has time to get a hold on us and take root in us. But the Word says, Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him] (see Ephesians 4:27 AMPC).

This verse tells us what happens if we refuse to get over our anger by bedtime: It opens a door for the enemy and gives Satan a foothold. Once Satan gets a foothold in our lives, then he tries to establish a stronghold.

You may wonder, Well, if I am mad, what should I do about it? Get over it! You may think, That’s easy for you to say, but you’re not in my situation. I may not be in your situation, but you are not in my situation either. We all have different situations. If you are going to live a joyful, victorious life, you have to do so by choice and not by feelings.

In Deuteronomy 30:19 (AMPC) the Lord tells us, …I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life…. Choose life by refusing to give in to anger. Take responsibility for your anger and learn to deal with it—process it and bring closure to it, and that will relieve the pressure.

Prayer Starter: Father, I thank You that know me inside and out. Please help me to get to the root of my anger and not allow the enemy to gain a foothold in my life. Help me not to react out of my emotions, but please strengthen me to make decisions that lead to peace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Give Him the First Part

 

“Honor the Lord by giving Him the first part of all your income, and He will fill your barns with wheat and barley and overflow your wine vats with the finest wines” (Proverbs 3:9,10).

“Yes, I tithe,” said John D. Rockefeller, Sr., “and I would like to tell you how it all came about.

“I had to begin work as a small boy to help support my mother. My first wages amounted to $1.50 per week. The first week after I went to work I took the $1.50 home to my mother and she held the money in her lap and explained to me that she would be happy if I would give a tenth of it to the Lord.

“I did,” Rockefeller said, “and from that week until this day I have tithed every dollar God has entrusted to me. And I want to say if I had not tithed the first dollar I made I would not have tithed the first million dollars I made.

“Tell your readers to train the children to tithe, and they will grow up to be faithful stewards of the Lord.”

As R. G. Le Tourneau observed years ago, “We do not give to God because it pays, but it does pay to give to God and to serve Him faithful.” Without any question, God honors faithful stewardship – of time, energy, money, all that we have and are.

The importance of tithing is one of the first lessons I learned as a new Christian. Now I realize that that is only the beginning, because everything that I enjoy has been entrusted to me by a gracious, loving Father, who expects me to maximize all that he has put into my hands; therefore, tithing must be followed by offerings, based on clear Word of God that as we sow we reap. The more we give back to God, the more He will entrust to us, but we are to give with a cheerful heart out of a deep sense of gratitude for all that God has given to us.

Bible Reading:Malachi 3:8-12

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: God will have the first fruits of my life, the first part of my money, my time, my talent, my energy.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – DNA Test for Love

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Have you ever made decisions about your relationships based on your feelings instead of the facts? When it comes to love, feelings rule the day. Emotions guide the ship.

Ever wish you had a DNA test for love?  Paul offers us one, “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6). In this verse lies a test for love.  Love doesn’t ask someone to do what is wrong. If you find yourself prompting evil in others, heed the alarm.  And if others prompt evil in you, be alert. That siren you hear?  It’s the phony-love detector.

Love doesn’t tear down the convictions of others. Quite the contrary. “Love builds up!” (1 Corinthians 8:1). Ask yourself this: Do I encourage this person to do what is right?  For true love “takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth.”

Read more Love Worth Giving

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

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Denison Forum – President Trump cancels North Korea summit

“Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting. Therefore, please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place.”

With these words, President Trump notified Kim Jong Un yesterday that he was canceling their June 12 summit in Singapore.

This decision followed a series of ominously worded statements from North Korea. Their senior envoy for US affairs had threatened to call off the summit and warned that their regime could “make the US taste an appalling tragedy it has neither experienced nor even imagined.” The envoy also described Vice President Pence as a “political dummy.”

The White House says back channels for discussions with North Korea are still open but states that the regime must first change its rhetoric.

A “challenging threat environment”

The threat of North Korea is just one of the challenges we face as a nation.

Continue reading Denison Forum – President Trump cancels North Korea summit