Charles Stanley – Peace With One Another

 

2 Corinthians 13:11

As Christians, we have a special relationship with each other because of our union with Jesus. You’ve probably experienced this if you’ve met a stranger with whom you sensed a bond and soon discovered that you were both Christians.

Scripture calls us to be a source of encouragement and help to our brothers and sisters in Christ, yet most of us know at least one believer with whom we have more conflict than comfort. Perhaps our personalities don’t mesh, or we have different convictions that sometimes result in arguments. The problem could also be a matter of miscommunication or misunderstanding.

Whatever our natural differences may be, we can overcome them through Jesus Christ and live in peace with one another. Instead of building walls, we can express grace to others in the following ways:

Prayer. Make it a habit to lift up the other person in prayer to the Father.

Communication. Discuss the relational issue openly and honestly. Clear up any incorrect assumptions and uncover the source of conflict. Be willing to share concerns and listen to the other point of view.

Counsel. To work though the conflict, it may sometimes be necessary to enlist the aid of a godly counselor.

Restoration. Once the root issue is resolved and harmony is restored, both parties should agree to address new conflicts promptly as they arise.

God calls us to live in peace, and He has provided everything we need to obey Him. When we allow His indwelling Holy Spirit to control us, His goodness and grace will flow through us to others, creating harmony.

Bible in One Year: Psalm 23-28

 

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Our Daily Bread — “Lovable!”

 

Read: Jeremiah 31:1–6 | Bible in a Year: Nehemiah 1–3; Acts 2:1–21

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. Jeremiah 31:3

“Lovable!”

That exclamation came from my daughter as she got ready one morning. I didn’t know what she meant. Then she tapped her shirt, a hand-me-down from a cousin. Across the front was that word: “Lovable.” I gave her a big hug, and she smiled with pure joy. “You are lovable!” I echoed. Her smile grew even bigger, if that was possible, as she skipped away, repeating the word over and over again.

I’m hardly a perfect father. But that moment was perfect. In that spontaneous, beautiful interaction, I glimpsed in my girl’s radiant face what receiving unconditional love looked like: It was a portrait of delight. She knew the word on her shirt corresponded completely with how her daddy felt about her.

How many of us know in our hearts that we are loved by a Father whose affection for us is limitless? Sometimes we struggle with this truth. The Israelites did. They wondered if their trials meant God no longer loved them. But in Jeremiah 31:3, the prophet reminds them of what God said in the past: “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” We too long for such unconditional love. Yet the wounds, disappointments, and mistakes we experience can make us feel anything but lovable. But God opens His arms—the arms of a perfect Father—and invites us to experience and rest in His love.

Lord, hard things in our lives can tempt us to believe we are unlovable. But You say otherwise. Please help us to receive the life-transforming gift of Your everlasting love for us.

No one loves us like our Father.

By Adam Holz

INSIGHT

Much of the book of Jeremiah deals with the prophet’s anguished appeal for God’s people to turn back to Him. Those pleas were ignored, making judgment inevitable. But God’s love is relentless, and in chapters 30–31 Jeremiah gives hope to the remnant who would live through the coming invasion. “The people who survive the sword will find favor in the wilderness,” God said (31:2). This “favor” would show up in ways the scattered survivors likely thought no longer possible. What the invading horde destroyed, God would rebuild, causing the people to “take up [their] timbrels and go out to dance with the joyful” (v. 4). Their farmers would plant fruitful vineyards (v. 5). No longer would watchmen cry out in warning, but would instead call the people to Zion (Jerusalem) for worship (v. 6).

When we begin to understand the scope of God’s love, we can accept His correction and learn from it. As we embrace His everlasting love, we find that God’s discipline is for our good and is proof that we are His children (see Hebrews 12:5–7).

Do you see God as our gentle and loving heavenly Father? In what ways have you sensed His loving correction?

Tim Gustafson

 

 

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Ravi Zacharias Ministry – If God, Then Why?

My wife, Ono, is someone who has been through quite a bit of physical distress and lives with some measure of disability. In one of her old Bibles is a fading scrawl that she made during one of her bouts of illness. It is a quote by Joni Eareckson Tada: “When we learn to lean back in God’s sovereignty, fixing and settling our thoughts on that unshakable, unmovable reality, we can experience inner peace. Our trouble may not change, our pain may not diminish, our loss may not be restored, our problems may not fade with the new dawn. But, the power of those things to harm us is broken as we rest in the fact that God is in control.”(1)

As is well known, Joni Eareckson has lived with unimaginable handicap for the most part of her remarkable life. In the book Indelible Ink, where 22 prominent Christian leaders discuss the one book (apart from the Bible) that has most influenced each of their lives, Joni Eareckson’s pick was Loraine Boettner’s The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination.(2)

The epigraph that Joni Eareckson used for her chapter in Indelible Ink is also from Boettner’s book: “History,” Boettner says, “in all its details, even the most minute, is but the unfolding of the eternal purposes of God. His decrees are not successively formed as the emergency arises, but are all parts of one all-comprehending plan, and we should never think of Him suddenly evolving a plan or doing something which He had not thought of before.”(3)

For Boettner, God is in ultimate control of, and has decreed, everything—not just the larger scheme of things, but also the minutest details and the apparent happenchance of our lives, including the mad, the bad, and the sad. It is in knowing and believing this that lies the secret of rest and strength in the midst of life’s vicissitudes. This is the existential implication and practical application that Eareckson draws from Boettner’s work—and, presumably, Ono from Eareckson’s words. Stumbling upon Ono’s scribble of Eareckson’s words has, however, given me a different (not necessarily contrary) perspective on handling pain and suffering—a perspective that Eareckson or Boettner’s words do not exactly state or bear out.(4)

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – If God, Then Why?

Joyce Meyer – Stay Safe in God’s Word

 

But test all things carefully [so you can recognize what is good]. Hold firm to that which is good. — 1 Thessalonians 5:21

Adapted from the resource Hearing From God Each Morning Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

Hearing from God clearly and avoiding the possibility of deception comes only from spending regular time with Him and learning His Word. Listening for God’s voice without having knowledge of His Word is a mistake. Knowing God’s written Word protects us from deception.

Trying to hear from God without knowing His Word is irresponsible and even dangerous. People who want to be led by the Spirit but are too lazy to spend time in the Word and in prayer set themselves up for deception because evil spirits are eager to whisper to listening ears. The devil tried to say things to Jesus and He always replied, “It is written,” and then quoted Scripture to refute the lies of the enemy (see Luke 4).

Some people seek God only when they are in trouble and need help. But if they are not used to hearing from God, they will find recognizing His voice difficult when they really need Him.

We need to compare any idea, prompting, or thought that comes to us with God’s Word. If we don’t know the Word, we won’t have anything against which to measure theories and arguments that rise up in our thoughts. The enemy can present wild ideas that make sense to us. The fact that thoughts are logical doesn’t mean they are from God. We may like what we hear, but the fact that something appeals to us doesn’t mean it is from God. We may hear something that feels good to our emotions, but if it fails to give us peace it is not from God. God’s advice to us is to always follow peace and let it be an umpire in our lives (see Colossians 3:15).

Test everything you hear against the Word of God, because that is the only standard of truth that exists.

Prayer Starter: Father, help me to hear from You more clearly. Help me to always test everything I believe against the perfect standard of Your Word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – We Are Kings

 

“The sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to be king over all, but all who will take God’s gift of forgiveness and acquittal are kings of life because of this one man, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17).

Jack protested angrily, “Why should I be held accountable for the sin of Adam? Why should I be judged and condemned to eternal punishment because of the disobedience of someone who lived centuries ago? I resent that his action should involve me.” I asked my young student friend if he remembered the infamous Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor followed by the declaration of war by then President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. “Yes,” he said, “I’m a student of history and I remember that event very well.” I reminded Jack that every able-bodied man who was of age was automatically conscripted to join the United States Army to do battle against Japan. “Yes,” he said, “I know.”

“Don’t you think it unfair, following your logic, that the President of the United States should make a decision that would affect young men like yourself? Remember that tens of thousands of them died on the field of battle. Was that fair?”

“Well,” he replied, “that was the only decision that could be made. We had to protect our homeland. We had been attacked and had to defend ourselves.”

“So it was with Adam,” I explained. “The wisdom of the Almighty Creator was attacked by Satan in the Garden of Eden and the battle was lost when Adam and Eve, the epitome of God’s creation, surrendered to Satan’s tempting lies. God, in His sovereignty, wisdom and grace caused the results of the disobedience of Adam to be borne by the rest of us in the human race. But the judgement of God which demands penalty for sin was intercepted by God’s love. while we were yet in our sins God proved His love for us by sending the Lord Jesus Christ to die for us. Now, through accepting God’s free gift by faith, we can become kings of life because of this one man, Jesus Christ.”

Simply stated, one man, Adam, through his disobedience to God, introduced sin into the world, and one man, Jesus Christ, through his obedience to God, paid the penalty for that sin for all who would believe and trust in Him.

Bible Reading:Romans 5:14-21

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Christ has overcome the sin I inherited from Adam by liberating me from the king of death, and making me a king of light. As an expression of my deep gratitude for His love and grace, I will seek every opportunity to communicate this good news to others who still live in darkness that they, too, may enjoy the abundant supernatural life which I now enjoy.

 

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Max Lucado – You Were Made for the Part

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Listen to the way God described the builder, Bezalel, “I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, intelligence and skill in all kinds of crafts…” (Exodus 31:3-5). Can you hear the pleasure in God’s voice?

When you do the most what you do the best, you pop the pride buttons on the vest of God. In the movie, Chariots of Fire, Eric Liddell defended his devotion to running by telling his sister, “God made me fast, and when I run, I feel his pleasure.” When do you feel God’s pleasure? When do you look up into the heavens and say, “I was made to do this?” When it comes to being you, you were made for the part. So speak your lines with confidence!

Read more Cure for the Common Life

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

 

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Denison Forum – Man pushes woman home after her wheelchair breaks; video goes viral

Bilal Quintyne of Smyrna, Georgia, was headed out for a morning jog with a friend. He came upon a woman in an electric wheelchair stranded on the side of the road. Her chair’s engine had died, leaving one wheel on the busy street and the other on the sidewalk.

Quintyne took off his shirt in deference to the heat and pushed the woman for thirty minutes until they arrived at her home. His friend shot a video of the incident. As of this morning, it has been viewed more than three million times.

Why does this story resonate with so many people? I think its hero explained it best: “There’s so much hatred in the world and it costs nothing to love someone.”

How Muslims earn joy

The Muslim observance of Ramadan began this year on May 16. Since that time, observant Muslims around the world have abstained from eating, drinking, and sexual relations from sunup to sundown.

Ramadan ended yesterday with the celebration of Eid al-Fitr (“feast of breaking the fast”) that began at sundown and continues until this evening. Different countries and sects observe the holiday in different ways. Most include family and social gatherings, traditional sweet dishes, feasting, wearing new clothes, shopping, and gift-giving.

Continue reading Denison Forum – Man pushes woman home after her wheelchair breaks; video goes viral