Charles Stanley – Whole Life Worship

 

Romans 11:33-36; Romans 12:1-8

For many Christians, the word worship is synonymous with the songs we sing in church services. This is often implied when those who lead music announce to the congregation, “Let’s stand and worship.” Singing praises to God is but one aspect of what the word means—it includes much more and is not limited to Sunday morning in a church building.

When the Samaritan woman spoke to Jesus about this, He told her a time would come when the place wouldn’t be important. In that day, worship would be done in spirit and in truth (John 4:20-24), as an integral part of everything in our daily life.

Let’s consider ways we worship God:

With our words (Rom. 11:33-36). Right after finishing a thorough explanation of doctrine to the church in Rome, Paul broke out in praise to the Lord. As our minds are filled with God’s truths, our worship will likewise overflow in prayer and songs of adoration, praise, and reverence.

With surrendered lives (Rom. 12:1-2). Instead of worshipping with animal sacrifices, we offer ourselves to the Lord through holy, obedient living. This is possible because God’s truth renews our mind, thereby transforming our life.

With service to others (Rom. 12:3-8). Everything we do can be an act of worship when it is done as unto the Lord. By His grace, He has even given us spiritual gifts that enable us to serve one another.

Think about your choices, actions, and words throughout the day—both to God and to others. How can they be transformed into worship?

Bible in One Year: Job 5-8

 

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Our Daily Bread — The “Chewing” Years

 

Read: 1 Peter 2:1–11 | Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 17–18; John 13:1–20

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6

My wife recently gave me a Labrador retriever puppy we named Max. One day when Max was spending time with me in my study, I was concentrating at my desk and heard the sound of paper ripping behind me. I turned to find a guilty-looking puppy with a book wide open and a page dangling from his mouth.

Our veterinarian tells us that Max is going through his “chewing years.” As puppies lose their milk teeth and permanent ones grow, they soothe their gums by chewing almost anything. We have to watch Max carefully to ensure he isn’t gnawing on something that could harm him, and we point him to healthy alternatives.

Max’s urge to chew—and my responsibility to watch him—cause me to think about what we “chew on” in our minds and hearts. Do we carefully consider what we are feeding our eternal souls when we read or surf the web or watch TV? The Bible encourages us, “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Peter 2:2–3). We need to fill ourselves daily with God’s Word and truth if we are to thrive as followers of Christ. Only then can we grow to maturity in Him.

Loving Lord, help me to hunger for You and Your Word and to stay away from that which harms me. Fill me with Your goodness today.

When Christ returns, what will He find us craving?

By James Banks

INSIGHT

Food is used as a metaphor to describe the Bible’s nutritional value. To Peter, it’s pure milk (1 Peter 2:2). Job treasured God’s Word more than his daily bread (Job 23:12). In Psalm 19:10, it’s sweeter than honey. Looking at Hebrews 5:12–14, why do we need the solid food of Scripture to mature spiritually?

  1. T. Sim

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Wisdom Hunters – Spiritual Receptivity 

 

Then Jesus said, ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear.  Mark 4:9

Spiritual receptivity is necessary for the growing follower of Christ. Jesus knew that there had to be a willingness to want to know and understand before there could be any comprehension of His teachings. This hunger for God is an innate appetite that only He can satisfy. Even if you do not hear, you can want to hear. This is the attitude of a growing disciple of Jesus Christ. A willing heart is what the Holy Spirit infuses with insight.

Spiritual receptivity is born out of your attitude and validated by your actions. Actions are an indicator but not an initiator of openness to the Almighty’s agenda. Have you ever grown weary working for the Lord, struggling to have a patient attitude? Yes, we all have from time to time, but it is a patient and grateful attitude that hears Christ communicate the most clearly. Gratitude for His grace, love, and forgiveness leads to hearing His voice.

His Word lodges alive and eventually bears fruit when the ears of your heart humbly listen to the Lord with an attitude of obedience. Jesus explained the results of a spiritually receptive heart; hearing and understanding His Word, thus finding faith and healing. Indeed, the comprehension of His ways is not limited to a select few “professional Christians.” In fact, their ministry vocation can become a stumbling block to belief.

“‘For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it” (Matthew 13:15–17).

Spiritual receptivity means I submit to the Holy Spirit’s prodding to preempt my pride. Instead of reacting to raw data, I wait and process with prayer so I am able to gain God’s perspective and not be rushed by the world’s way of doing things. Spiritual receptivity sees the face of God and hears the heart of heaven.

“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’” (Isaiah 30:21).

Do I hear with a heart toward hearing from heaven? Is my heart humbled to hear from the Holy Spirit?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me a humble heart to hear Your words and to do what You say, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Application: Consider a half day of silence with no screens or distractions to listen for the Lord’s direction through His word and His creation.

Related Readings: Isaiah 55:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; Romans 10:17; Hebrews 4:2

Worship Resource: 5-minute music video- Matt Maher: Your Love Defends Me

Taken from Seeking Daily the Heart of God v.2

 

http://www.wisdomhunters.com/

Joyce Meyer – Get Ready for Joy

 

…Weeping may endure for a night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning. — Psalm 30:5

Does your happiness depend on everything in your life being just right? If you think you can’t be happy until all your circumstances are right, you will never be happy. We all experience times in life when we feel down for various reasons, but we can’t allow our circumstances to control our emotions.

Satan seeks to fill your mind with negative thoughts and emotions that cause you to feel down because He is a discourager. But Jesus is your encourager, and He came to lift you up. He came to give you righteousness, joy, and all the things that cause you to feel “up”!

We all experience times of frustration and distress over unfulfilled hopes and dreams. When things don’t go according to your plans, it’s normal to feel disappointment. Things may make you feel sad temporarily, but when you know that weeping only lasts for a time and then comes joy, it makes everything better.

Prayer Starter: Father, Your Word says that You are “the Lifter of my head” (see Psalm 3:3). Today, I offer any sadness, discouragement and disappointment to You. Help me to purposely choose to walk in Your joy, knowing that You have so many good things ahead for my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Abound With Blessings

 

“A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished” (Proverbs 28:20, RSV).

“Years ago when my children were small,” declared a godly Baptist layman in South Carolina, who was secretary and treasurer of a large cotton mill corporation, “my salary was too small for my actual needs. Strive as I would I could not keep out of debt.

“This became a heavy cross to me, and one night I was unable to sleep. I arose and went to my desk, where I spent some time in prayer to God for help and guidance. Then I took a pen and paper and wrote out a solemn contract with my heavenly Father.”

Continuing, the layman said, “I promised Him that no matter what testings or trials came I would never turn back. Also, that no matter how pressing my obligations I would scrupulously tithe my income. Next I promised the Lord that if He would let me make a certain salary I would pay two- tenth, then if I made a certain larger salary I would pay three-tenths.

“Finally I named a larger salary, which was far beyond anything I had ever hoped to earn, and told the Lord if I ever reached such a salary I would give him one-half of my income. For many years it has been my privilege to give one- half of my income to the Lord.”

This verse warns the man who is so determined to accumulate personal wealth that he robs God of that which is rightfully His. That man will not go unpunished. God promises. May He help us to give cheerfully of that which He entrusts to us.

Bible Reading:Proverbs 28:21-28

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Whatever I give to the Lord, His servants and His work will be done cheerfully and generously, as He has prospered me.

 

 

http://www.cru.org

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Diamonds in the Making

 

2 Corinthians 7:5

Carbon is a soft natural material, but it is also the raw material from which diamonds—the hardest substance on earth—are made. How does that happen? Diamonds are formed 75 to 120 miles below the earth’s surface. When carbon buried deep in the earth is put under extreme pressure, and when the temperature is at least 192 degrees Fahrenheit, the carbon changes into diamonds. Scientists discovered that there have been only three times during Earth’s history when diamonds were made, and the planet no longer makes diamonds as it once did. Diamonds are highly valued as jewelry. Maybe your mother or father has a diamond ring. Diamonds are also valued in industry. A diamond saw blade will cut through almost anything.

In the Scripture verse for today, the Apostle Paul describes being harassed, or troubled, on every side. He was under extreme pressure, but God used that pressure to change Paul from an ordinary person into an extraordinary man of God. And God can do the same thing for us. When we feel like everything is pushing on us so hard we cannot stand it, it could be that God is changing us from soft material into a beautiful diamond that he can use.

Dear Lord, I hate to be under pressure. Help me to understand, though, that you can use my troubles to create something new and beautiful in my heart. Amen.

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – The Deadly Sin of Pride


Read: Luke 18:9-14

I hate pride and arrogance. (Prov. 8:13 NIV)

In a discussion group, the leader posed the question, “Who in your life do you most admire?” A variety of answers followed—parents, teachers, coaches. Then a handsome husband and successful businessman said, “Of all the people I know, I admire myself most.” Silence followed. Everyone was at a loss for words. But God is not silent: “I hate pride and arrogance.”

This man, whom we’ll call Henry, had studied hard, earned degrees, landed impressive jobs with good salaries, and served the church and community through his foundations. He was proud of his accomplishments. One day I reminded him that in the final judgment, God will be unimpressed by worldly credentials. The gentleman’s response? A blank stare.

God approves when we do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with him (Micah 6:8). But pride is the enemy of humility. In the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, Jesus contrasts two men: the first did many good deeds but was full of pride, whereas the second admitted his sin and pleaded for God’s mercy. Jesus says the sinner went home justified that day rather than the Pharisee because “everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:14).

Studying, working hard, and doing charitable acts are good. But if your goal is to impress others, forget being blessed by God. If you want God’s grace, seek how to be humble and let him take care of the rest. —Chic Broersma

Prayer: Lord, forgive my foolish pride

 

https://woh.org/