Charles Stanley – The Unavoidable Appointment

 

Hebrews 9:27-28

There are many options in life, especially for those who live in a relatively free country. Where we live, whom we marry, and what kind of career we pursue—all these are very much influenced by our desires and choices. But there is one event over which we have no control, and that’s our appointment with death.

Adam and Eve, the very first human beings, actually did have a choice regarding life and death. When God gave Adam the command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, He said, “for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die” (Gen. 2:17). But Adam and Eve did eat of the forbidden tree, and sin and death became a constant companion of the human race from that day forward. In the genealogy of mankind, as recorded in Genesis 5, one phrase repeatedly drives this point home: “and he died.”

Although we can no longer choose whether to live or die, there was one other man who could. His name was Jesus Christ. In the book of John, He said, “I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me” (John 10:17-18). Jesus, the eternal Son of God and source of all life, chose to take on human flesh in order to die on the cross as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind.

Because Jesus chose death, man can now have life eternal by believing in Him. Our human bodies will one day die, but if we’ve trusted in Christ’s death as the payment for our sins, we’ll be resurrected as He was and enter heaven to be with Him forever.

Bible in One Year: Job 22-25

 

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Our Daily Bread — Side by Side

 

Read: Nehemiah 3:1–12 | Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 25–27; John 16

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor. Ecclesiastes 4:9

In ancient times, a city with broken walls revealed a defeated people, exposed to danger and shame. That is why the Jews rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem. How? By working side by side, an expression that can well describe Nehemiah 3.

At first glance, chapter 3 might appear to be a boring account of who did what in the reconstruction. However, a closer look highlights how people worked together. Priests were working alongside rulers. Perfume-makers were helping as well as goldsmiths. There were some who lived in nearby towns and came to give a hand. Others made repairs opposite their houses. Shallum’s daughters, for example, worked alongside the men (3:12), and some people repaired two sections, like the men of Tekoa (vv. 5, 27).

Two things stand out from this chapter. First, they all worked together for a common goal. Second, all of them are commended for being part of the work, not for how much or little they did as compared to others.

Today we see damaged families and a broken society. But Jesus came to build the kingdom of God through the transformation of lives. We can help to rebuild our neighborhoods by showing others they can find hope and new life in Jesus. All of us have something to do. So let us work side by side and do our part—whether big or small—to create a community of love where people can find Jesus.

Dear Lord, help me to work with others, side by side, by showing love and pointing others to Jesus.

Let’s work together to build the kingdom of God.

By Keila Ochoa |

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Love Your Neighbor

I was recently in Chennai for two weeks with a class of twenty aspiring apologists from all across the country. There was something peculiar about this bunch that caught my attention from day one. It is not very surprising in such settings to find people who are extremely intellectual and focused, often pulling out a trick or two to impress the others with their academic rigor. But this particular bunch, much to my surprise, was far less interested in impressing one another with their logical skills than they were with their impressive efforts in being dil-logical—”dil” is the Hindi word for “heart.”(1) This particular class never let an opportunity to love one another pass by in vain. They jumped in unison at every chance to care for one another.

All of this came powerfully to mind this week in a reading of John 13:34. Mandatum novum, as it reads in Latin. A new command I give you, says Jesus: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

Almost all of us have an intense fascination and excitement for most things new: a new day, a new thought, a new essay from A Slice of Infinity, a new phone, a new car, a new home, and so on. Interestingly, the very old thing about our fascination with the new thing is its unbelievably transient shelf-life. The charm of the new is fleeting and sooner than later always fades away.

But as I read these words of Jesus, I was imagining a war-torn nation and its ravaged people who had been waiting for something new for hundreds of years. It had been 1400 years since God had given them the commandments. It had been 400 years since God had last spoken through one of the prophets. A new word from God, a new messiah, a new leader, a new king—a new something, please. To break the monotony of the old, to liberate them from the age-old despair of silence, anything new any day would surely have been most welcome. And here is Jesus with a new command!

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Joyce Meyer – Choose Life!

 

I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse; therefore, you shall choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants. — Deuteronomy 30:19

Adapted from the resource New Day New You Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

We will never enjoy life unless we make a quality decision to do so. Satan is an expert at stealing and our joy is one of his favorite targets. Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. In John 10:10 we are told that “the thief ” comes to kill, steal, and destroy, but that Jesus came that we might have and enjoy life. Satan is the thief, and one of the things he seeks to steal is our joy. If he can steal our joy from us, we will be weak; and when we are weak, the enemy takes advantage of us.

Weak believers are no threat to him and his work of destruction. In order to live as God intends for us to live, the first thing we must do is truly believe that it is God’s will for us to experience continual joy. Then we must decide to enter into that joy.

Experiencing enjoyment in our souls is vitally important to our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Proverbs 17:22 (AMPC) says, A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.It is God’s will for us to enjoy life! Now it is time to decide to enter into the full and abundant life that God wills for us.

Joy and enjoyment are available just as misery is available. Righteousness and peace are available and so are condemnation and turmoil. There are blessings and curses available, and that is why Deuteronomy 30:19 tells us to choose life and blessings.

Prayer Starter: Father, help me to enjoy this day to the fullest—help me to “choose life” and make the most of what You have given me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Everything Is Possible

 

“Jesus looked at them intently, then said, ‘Without God, it is utterly impossible. But with God everything is possible'” (Mark 10:27).

“An hour in prayer can give the believer enough power to overcome the second most powerful force in the universe,” sagely declared an anonymous observer.

God’s Word gives us many “exceeding great and precious promises” that confirm the truth of this wise observation – and the truth of the scriptural promise that with God everything is possible. One of these precious promises declares, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31,KJV).

Sometimes renewed strength – spiritual strength, God’s strength – is all we need to face the problem or difficulty or testing or trial that confronts us.

In the gigantic tasks God has given us to do in the work of Campus Crusade for Christ, often it is the confirmed realization that with God everything is possible that keeps us going on, trusting God to do that which no man could possibly do.

God’s indwelling Holy Spirit, making possible the supernatural life, constantly empowers and enables us to reach out and attempt great and mighty things for God – always an outreach that involves the needs of others more than our own personal needs, as great as they may seem to be at times.

Bible Reading:Mark 10:23-27

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: “Dear Lord, give me a heart like Yours – one that reaches out to the ends of the earth, and the end of the block, with the good news of the gospel, always believing that nothing is impossible with Your help.”

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Your Work Matters to God

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

God views your work worthy of its own engraved command. “You shall work six days, but on the seventh day you shall rest” (Exodus 34:21).

Whether you work at home or in the marketplace, your work matters to God. And your work matters to society. Cities need plumbers. Bones break. We need people to repair the first and set the last. Someone has to raise kids, raise cane, and manage the kids who raise cane. Whether you log on or lace up for the day, you imitate God. Jesus said, “My Father never stops working, and so I keep working, too” (John 5:17).

Your career consumes half of your lifetime. Shouldn’t it broadcast God? Don’t those forty to sixty hours a week belong to him as well?

Read more Cure for the Common Life

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

http://www.maxlucado.com

Denison Forum – Pastor killed by crocodile while baptizing

Kate Spade, famous for her handbag line and other fashion designs, was found dead in her New York City apartment yesterday from an apparent suicide. She suffered from depression, according to her sister. She is survived by her husband, Andy, who is the brother of comedian David Spade, and their daughter, Frances.

In other news, a man who killed himself when confronted by police on Monday has now been linked to six victims. Among them was renowned psychiatrist Dr. Steven Pitt, who became famous for his role in investigating the death of JonBenet Ramsey in 1996.

Meanwhile, a pastor who made no headlines by his life has made global news by his death.

Last Sunday, Pastor Docho Eshete was baptizing at Lake Abaya in southern Ethiopia. He had baptized the first person when, according to a local resident, “a crocodile jumped out of the lake and grabbed the pastor.”

Despite efforts from the congregation, fishermen, and residents, Pastor Eshete died from injuries to his back, legs, and hands. The crocodile escaped as the group used fishing nets to keep it from taking the pastor’s lifeless body.

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The Spiritual Battle on D-Day: ‘This Great and Valiant Struggle’

A tense and tired world is awaiting word of an Allied invasion of Western Europe, crushed for years under the jackboots of the Nazi war machine.

In the early morning hours of June 6, the news flashes over American radios: The greatest amphibious invasion in history has begun on the beaches of Normandy, France. As paratroopers leap from their planes and landing craft speed toward the coast, another great battle is being waged at home: a prayer battle, imploring God for victory over the dark forces of fascism.

It’s almost impossible to exaggerate the importance of the D-Day invasion. As one historian notes, “Without question, a failed invasion of France would constitute a calamity of incalculable proportions for the Western allies.” Who knows how long it would have taken to organize a second invasion attempt—time that might have allowed a German victory.

So as word of the assault trickled out, Americans began to pray. Stores closed, and prayer services were swiftly organized in small towns and big cities.

Photographs taken on June 6 show just how widespread these prayers were. One picture shows a sign in the window of a novelty button shop reading, “Sorry, no covered buttons today. We are praying for the success of the invasion.” A sign in front of a church reads, “Come in and pray for Allied victory: Hourly intercessions on the hour.” Another photo shows Americans in a synagogue, bowing their heads in prayer. At a noon Mass, we see men and women on their knees, fervently praying.

New York City Mayor Fiorello La Guardia took to the airwaves, urging citizens to “send forth [their] prayers to Almighty God . . . to bring total victory . . . in [this] great and valiant struggle . . .”

In Washington, President Roosevelt, who had sons in uniform, urged Americans to join him in prayer for all the nation’s sons: “With Thy blessing,” he prayed, “We shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy.”

And, by heaven, prevail they did. On D-Day, and in the bloody days that followed, allied soldiers brought to vivid life the words of Winston Churchill: “We shall fight in France . . . We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight on the fields and in the streets . . . We shall never surrender.”

As President Reagan put it 40 years later, speaking at Normandy to surviving Army Rangers: “These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the heroes who helped end a war.”

Today, I can’t help wondering: How much did the prayers of their loved ones back home have to do with this great victory?

War correspondent Ernie Pyle, who arrived at Normandy on June 7, observed that the Allies achieved victory “with every advantage on the enemy’s side and every disadvantage on ours.” Despite this, he wrote, the total Allied casualties “were remarkably low—only a fraction, in fact, of what our commanders had been prepared to accept.”

“Now that it is all over,” Pyle finished, “it seems to me a pure miracle that we ever took the beach at all.”

Yes, it WAS a miracle—a miracle backed up by millions upon millions of believers assaulting the gates of heaven.

We must never forget what the Allies gallantly sacrificed for the world on D-Day. Today—the 74th anniversary of that invasion—we should set aside time to remember what they did. And then we should pray for the safety of our soldiers, airmen, sailors, and marines who are serving across the globe today—men and women fighting and sacrificing for the freedoms we—and others—enjoy.

 

BreakPoint is a Christian worldview ministry that seeks to build and resource a movement of Christians committed to living and defending Christian worldview in all areas of life. Begun by Chuck Colson in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today’s news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print. Today BreakPoint commentaries, co-hosted by Eric Metaxas and John Stonestreet, air daily on more than 1,200 outlets with an estimated weekly listening audience of eight million people. Feel free to contact us at BreakPoint.org where you can read and search answers to common questions.

Eric Metaxas is a co-host of BreakPoint Radio and a best-selling author whose biographies, children’s books, and popular apologetics have been translated into more than a dozen languages.