Charles Stanley –Be Steadfast in Prayer

 

Luke 18:1-8

While the Israelites engaged in physical combat, a spiritual battle was simultaneously being waged nearby. Scripture tells us that as Moses was praying, he grew weary in the midst of a critical situation (Ex. 17:12). If this can happen to one of God’s greatest leaders, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when we feel defeated or discouraged.

As battles loom, we oftentimes lose heart because our eyes are focused on the circumstances. We allow the enemy to skew our perspective of the conflict, which makes barriers before us seem unlikely to give way. Then it’s not uncommon to feel panicky and wonder, Lord, what am I going to do? We may even stop praying because it seems apparent there’s no solution, no way out, no hope of victory. We’re just too tired and disappointed.

Jesus knew that we would at times feel fainthearted, which is why He told the parable of the persistent widow in today’s reading. The Lord wanted to encourage His followers to be tireless in prayer. This requires faith, without which it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6).

Let’s remember that the enemy rejoices when we give up, but defeat is never our only option! If we could see the situation through God’s eyes, we would see a completely different landscape. We may need to pray strenuously, as if we’re tunneling through a mountain, but when we do, our faith and perseverance will grow.

So keep praying, and let the Word of God encourage you personally. You’ll hear His assurance as He fights for you.

Bible in One Year: Psalm 50-54

 

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Our Daily Bread — Every Moment Matters

 

Read: Philippians 1:12–24 | Bible in a Year: Esther 1–2; Acts 5:1–21

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21

When I met Ada, she had outlived her entire group of friends and family and was living in a nursing home. “It’s the hardest part of getting old,” she told me, “watching everyone else move on and leave you behind.” One day I asked Ada what kept her interest and how she spent her time. She answered me with a Scripture passage from the apostle Paul (Philippians 1:21): “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Then she said, “While I’m still around, I have work to do. On my good days, I get to talk to the people here about Jesus; on the hard days, I can still pray.”

Significantly, Paul wrote Philippians while in prison. And he acknowledged a reality many Christians understand as they face their mortality: Even though heaven seems so inviting, the time we have left on Earth matters to God.

Like Paul, Ada recognized that every breath she took was an opportunity to serve and glorify God. So Ada spent her days loving others and introducing them to her Savior.

Even in our darkest moments, Christians can hold on to the promise of permanent joy in the company of God. And while we live, we enjoy relationship with Him. He fills all our moments with significance.

Lord, grant me the strength to serve You with every breath I take, so that every moment of my remaining days matters to Your Kingdom.

Study more at christianuniversity.org/courses/spiritual-life-basics.

When God comes to call us home, may He find us serving Him.

By Randy Kilgore

INSIGHT

How can you use the days God has given you to love and serve others?

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – King of the Hill

Public radio program This American Life ran a special report on a certain sub-culture of people whose prize possessions are their car stereos. They are called “decibel drag racers” and people flock across international borders to join them in competition. Like actual drag racing, cars line up across the track, except in this competition they will not be going anywhere. The winner is the owner of the car stereo that can play at the loudest possible decibel. Oddly enough (that is, more odd than the fact that these systems are too powerful to play music), most of the cars that win this competition are not even drivable. The world record holder at the time of this interview had 900 pounds of concrete poured into the floor of his van. Wind shields usually only make it through three competitions before cracking (and these are not normal windshields). Yet one competitor still seems to entirely miss the irony that there is no longer any room for himself in his car. “We need more batteries,” he laments. “But that’s all the room we have.”(1)

To anyone outside of this extreme audio sport world, “irony” is perhaps a generous word to describe the phenomenon. The TAL reporter was far more articulate: “Everybody wants to be the king of a hill,” he concluded. “But the number of aspiring kings always dwarfs the number of available hills, so in this country we build more hills.”(2)

I’m not sure there is a better way to describe it.

There is a word in Greek that captures my imagination as much as undrivable cars and manmade hills. Cheiropoietos is a combination of two other Greek words, the first meaning “hand” and the second “to make”—thus, the rough translation, “made with hands.” The word makes one of its first appearances in the Septuagint, the early Greek version of the Old Testament. In something like a satire, the prophet Isaiah questions the effectiveness of Bel and Nebo, the god of the Babylonians and the god of the Chaldeons. Isaiah describes a procession out of the city and into exile where Bel and Nebo only burden down donkeys. They “stoop and bow down together,” Isaiah writes “unable to rescue the burden, they themselves go off into captivity” (Isaiah 46:2). In calamity, the people who serve these gods are not bowing before them. Idols made with hands must be carried out of the city gates by the very hands that made them. Isaiah is perplexed by the irony they fail to notice:

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Joyce Meyer – Get in the Flow

 

You cause them to drink of the stream of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light do we see light. O continue Your loving-kindness to those who know You, Your righteousness (salvation) to the upright in heart. — Psalm 36:8–10 (AMPC)

Adapted from the resource Starting Your Day Right Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

I have never been much of a swimmer. I may not be the best at fighting the current, but I can float. It is wonderful just to trust the water to keep us up and go with the flow. We can trust God to keep us afloat through the rapids and lead us to still waters.

The Bible says God’s mercy and loving-kindness are new every morning (See Lamentations 3:22– 23). His mercy isn’t just there waiting for us; it is new, fresh, flowing, and powerful every new day. We need to get in the flow of God’s river of life early each day and learn to float on the power of His presence.

Prayer Starter: Lord, thank You for this new day. Help me to live this day with You, always mindful of Your presence. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Not in Vain

 

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58, KJV).

“Do not let your belief of these truths be shaken,” the apostle Paul was saying to the Corinthian believers. “They are most certain, and of the utmost importance.”

In the context, you will remember that Paul had just been talking about the resurrection, and now he wanted them to be steadfast believers of this great truth. The person who has no belief in the afterlife – the resurrection – is of all men most miserable. His motto is: “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.”

Paul also exhorts believers to be immovable in their expectation of being raised incorruptible and immortal. Christians should never lose sight of this hope of the gospel:

“The only condition is that you fully believe the Truth, standing in it steadfast and firm, strong in the Lord, convinced of the Good News that Jesus died for you, and never shifting from trusting Him to save you. This is the wonderful news that came to each of you and is now spreading all over the world. And I, Paul, have the joy of telling it to others” (Colossians 1:23).

Having determined to remain steadfast and unmovable for the rest of their lives, believers then are ready with God’s help to labor faithfully for the Lord, knowing that such labor is not in vain.

Bible Reading:I Corinthians 15:51-57

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Drawing by faith upon the supernatural resources of the Holy Spirit, I will keep my expectation and my hope steadfast and unmovable, continuing my service for the Lord with the confident assurance that it will not be in vain.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Don’t Lose Your Purpose

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

For the love of more—you might lose your purpose! Just because someone gives you advice, a job, or a promotion, you don’t have to accept it.  Let your uniqueness define your path of life.  Isaiah prayed, “You, LORD, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3).

Before you change your job title, examine your perspective toward life.  As the Japanese proverb says:  “Even if you sleep in a thousand-mat room, you can only sleep on one mat.” Success is not defined by position or pay scale but by this: Doing the most what you do the best.

Parents, give that counsel to your kids.  Tell them to do what they love to do so well that someone pays them to do it. “Don’t be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have” (Hebrews 13:5).

Read more Cure for the Common Life

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

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Denison Forum – Nine-year-old girl sent to rehab after wetting herself while playing video game

A nine-year-old girl has been sent to rehab after she wet herself while refusing to stop playing the video game Fortnite.

“She was so hooked to the game she wouldn’t even go to the toilet,” her mother told a reporter. “My husband saw her light on in the night and found her sitting on a urine-soaked cushion playing the game.”

Fortnite has been played by 150 million people around the world this year.

The popularity of video games is so acute and addictive that the World Health Organization has now included “gaming disorder” in its classification of diseases. This disorder results in “significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.”

Three reasons video games are so popular

In a recent study, 86 percent of video game players at least attended college. More than 8 percent completed graduate school. Video games are popular with every age demographic and with both men and women. They represent an $18 billion industry in the United States.

What does their popularity say about our culture? Why are they so alluring?

Obvious answers include the appeal of escaping real-life problems and the mental and emotional stimulation many gamers experience. But there’s more to the story.

Continue reading Denison Forum – Nine-year-old girl sent to rehab after wetting herself while playing video game