Charles Stanley –The Power of God’s Grace

 

Romans 5:1-5

Grace is one of God’s most amazing gifts. It provides us with everything we need to live in perfect freedom: pardon for our sins, healing for our heart, the companionship of God’s indwelling Holy Spirit, and access to freely cultivate our relationship with Him. We work, worship, and enjoy life, surrounded by His unconditional love. His grace upholds us, fills us, and sustains us.

Since we are forgiven people, the Lord responds to us not as enemies but as His dearly loved children (Rom. 8:15; Eph. 5:1). He hears our prayers, speaks to us, and acts on our behalf. The knowledge that we live under the covering of God’s grace gives us…

Security about our position. No one can snatch us out of His hand (John 10:28).

Boldness to live for Christ. Our adequacy comes from the Lord and who we are in Him, so we can live in confidence.

Peace for today because we can fully trust in His sovereignty. The Lord is carrying out His perfect will—and we can be sure that nothing is able to thwart His plan. When we cooperate with Him, we cannot fail.

Hope for the future. This life is just the beginning. One day we will see Jesus face to face, be perfected as the individuals He created us to be, and live with Him in our true home forever.

The Lord is committed to transforming each of us according to His special plan for our lives. Even His correction is an expression of His loving favor (Heb. 12:10). When we falter or fail, we can rest assured that His amazing grace hems us in and always offers us redemption.

Bible in One Year: Psalm 71-75

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — A Friend’s Comfort

 

Read: Job 2:7–13 | Bible in a Year: Job 1–2; Acts 7:22–43

No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was. Job 2:13

I read about a mom who was surprised to see her daughter muddy from the waist down when she walked in the door after school. Her daughter explained that a friend had slipped and fallen into a mud puddle. While another classmate ran to get help, the little girl felt sorry for her friend sitting by herself and holding her hurt leg. So, the daughter went over and sat in the mud puddle with her friend until a teacher arrived.

When Job experienced the devastating loss of his children and became afflicted with painful sores on his entire body, his suffering was overwhelming. The Bible tells us that three of his friends wanted to comfort him. When they found Job, “they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was” (Job 2:12–13).

Job’s friends initially showed remarkable understanding. They sensed that Job simply needed someone to sit and mourn with him. The three men will begin to speak in the next few chapters. The irony is that when the friends do begin to speak, they end up giving Job poor advice (16:1–4).

Often the best thing we can do when comforting a hurting friend is to sit with them in their suffering.

Heavenly Father, help me to be a good friend to those who are hurting. Thank You that You promise to be near to those who are suffering and provide encouragement through Your Holy Spirit.

A friend’s presence in the midst of suffering provides great comfort.

By Lisa Samra

INSIGHT

Job’s wife’s suffering (except for the painful sores) was just as keen as Job’s. She had lost just as much, and her angry advice to Job is completely understandable: “Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9). Yet even in Job’s response, he “did not sin in what he said” (v. 10). He merely noted that she spoke “like a foolish woman,” implying that he knew her character to be noble. The text also highlights the fact that Job’s friends truly did sympathize with his situation and were there to provide genuine comfort (v. 11). But Job’s wife and his friends couldn’t fathom that he was part of a cosmic battle they didn’t comprehend.

In this life, certain things will remain beyond our understanding. Perhaps someone close to you faces some unanswerable questions. Who might need your quiet presence today?

Tim Gustafson

 

http://www.odb.org

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – New Wine Needs New Wineskins

 

Read: Matthew 9:14-17

Neither is new wine put into old wineskins. (v. 17)

“Why don’t your disciples fast?” Because there needs to be congruity between faith and form, that’s why. A new faith cannot be contained in an old form. Jesus says, in effect, “Do not expect me to adapt myself and my message to the old forms of Judaism.” To illustrate, Jesus tells a parable. If you have new, fresh wine, you will not store it in an old wineskin, because when the new wine ferments, the old wineskin will stretch and crack, and the wine will be lost. New wine needs new wineskins. A new faith needs new forms.

So much denominational quarreling, it seems to me, revolves around new wine and old wineskins. I am old enough to remember the battle that raged when newer translations of the Bible appeared on the shelves alongside the old King James wineskin. More recently, so-called contemporary worship burst the old wineskins of hymnody and creedal language.

Gospel truth wears one suit of clothes after another, but it remains gospel truth. It’s the wine that’s important, not the wineskin. Christian fashions come and go, but “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13:8). I am not advocating a blind belief in progress, nor a gullible hospitality to everything new. But nothing is wrong with the new just because it’s new. Old wineskins deserve our respect. They would not have been in use so long if they didn’t work well. They were new—once. But God’s vineyard keeps producing new wine. —Lou Lotz

Prayer: Lord, help me to know when new wine needs new wineskins.

 

https://woh.org/

Joyce Meyer – Right from the Heart

 

Therefore do not worry or be anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted), saying, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ — Matthew 6:31

Adapted from the resource Battlefield Of The Mind Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

“What are you going to do?”

As a Christian leader, I’ve come to believe this is one of Satan’s favorite questions. I sometimes think he sends out special demons that have one specific task: to whisper this question in the ears of believers: “What are you going to do?” If you listen, the questions increase. The more they increase, the more negative and intense they become. Before long, you think of every possible obstacle on your path. You begin to feel as if nothing is right in your life.

That is Satan’s task. He and his helpers wage war on the battlefield of your mind. They want to engage you and other Christians in long, drawn-out, costly combat. The more questions and uncertainties they raise, the greater their chances for victory over your mind.

Jesus instructs us to “…not worry or be anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted), saying, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’” (Matthew 6:31 AMP)

The first thing you need to remind yourself of is that you are living in disobedience when you allow anxieties to fill your mind. Jesus says, “Don’t do that.”

Second, remind yourself that when you worry, you’re looking at the wrong things. In school, most of us were shown pictures that were optical illusions. If we looked at a picture one way, we saw a woman’s face. If we looked at it differently, we saw a rose.
Think of that as a mindset. If you focus on Jesus and His loving arms stretched out to you, you live in peace. You know He’s with you, and if He’s with you, He will also take care of you. If you focus on the other picture, you see only problems, defeats, and discouragement. It really does depend on where you concentrate your attention.

The enemy knows that if he can feed your mind often enough and long enough with the wrong things, he can make you think about and feel only the wrong things. For instance, instead of being thankful that the Lord has been with you through many dark and troublesome times, you can begin to ask, “How did I get here anyway? What am I doing in this fix? If God really loved me…”

That’s not the end of it. Once Satan starts to win in the area of poisoning your mind, he moves on, and before long, you’re repeating Satan’s words—words that not only tear you down, but also hurt and tear down others. Then Satan has a double victory—he’s trapped you, and you’ve influenced others.

Jesus said to the people of His day, “You offspring of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil (wicked)? For out of the fullness (the overflow, the superabundance) of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man from his inner good treasure flings forth good things, and the evil man out of his inner evil storehouse flings forth evil things” (Matthew 12:34–35 AMPC).

Those are strong, powerful words. They remind us that Satan starts with a whisper—just the smallest word of doubt in your ear. If you listen, his words get louder and you hear more things. Soon you unconsciously listen for his misdirection. That leads you to speak the words in your heart, whatever they are. Once you speak, you move into action. You not only spoil your own relationship with God, but you become instruments to churn up doubts and fears in others.

There is only one way for you to win: Refuse to listen to Satan. As soon as you hear such words, you need to say, “Satan, the Lord rebuke you. Stay out of my mind.”

Prayer Starter: Lord, thank You for Your words that remind me of the importance of my thoughts and my words. I ask You to fill my heart with such an abundance of peace and joy that the enemy can never infiltrate my mind. May my words reflect Your presence in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Never Fails nor Forsakes

 

“Stay away from the love of money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, ‘I will never, never fail you nor forsake you'” (Hebrews 13:5).

Malcolm Muggeridge, one of England’s leading intellectuals, came to our Christian Embassy headquarters for lunch one day. Together we talked about the things of God – the Christian adventure. On that day, he offered little hope for the future of the Western world.

“We are,” he said, “like a pan of frogs in cold water placed over a low flame. As the flame warms the water, the frogs relax. And by the time the water is boiling, it is too late for them to jump out of the pan. They are boiled alive. In contrast, if the frogs were placed in a pan of boiling water, they would leap out instantly.”

He continued by explaining that the average person in America and in Western Europe was being destroyed by materialism, the love of money and the love of things. People are greedy and are grasping for more than they have. Our appetites know no bounds; we have become insatiable.

As a result, no doubt there is more vital Christianity in Eastern Germany than in Western Germany, in Poland than in Italy, in the Soviet Union than in England. The Christians who are willing to pay the price of persecution in these countries have learned to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and to be satisfied with what they have.

With the apostle Paul, they are able to say, “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philippians 4:11, KJV). You will observe that the admonition was to stay away from the love of money. There is nothing wrong with money. Thank God for able, dedicated, godly men and women to whom God has given the ability to make money, but who recognize that there is no satisfaction or fulfillment in making money. It is in the stewardship of that which God has entrusted to them that they find fulfillment and true meaning to life.

Bible Reading:Ephesians 5:1-5

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: With the certainty that God will never, never fail me nor forsake me, I will seek to find fulfillment and meaning in my life in Christ and not in materialism. I will encourage others to do the same today.

 

http://www.cru.org

Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – Hearing God in the Silence

 

Silence and the Gospel: Jesus as the Logos

John 1:1–5

Aramaic was the lingua franca of the Middle East in the days of Jesus. Everyone spoke it. Parts of the Bible are written in it. Though Arabic replaced it as the key language for the region in the seventh century A.D., Aramaic endured through the centuries. But linguists now believe it is dying, with its last two generations of speakers driven from their homes by war and persecution now spread out around the world.

Human languages may die, but Jesus is the divine Word who has conquered death and given eternal life to all who believe on His name. Our month’s study now moves into its final section, “Silence and the Gospel.” In light of the fact that Jesus is God’s final Logos, what roles has silence played in the Gospel narrative?

John knew both the Jewish and Greek senses of the word Logos and clearly intended to signify both as well as to transcend both. To the Jewish mind, Logos meant God’s words, specifically the Law, and by extension God’s creation and governance of the world. To the Greek mind, Logos referred to both spoken and unspoken language and more importantly to an impersonal principle of reason or rationality.

The coming of Christ the Logos is like light in a dark place—the best Word humanity has ever heard! Just as God spoke light into creation, now comes His Son to speak life where there had been only death. Darkness and death have been overcome once and for all by the victorious Christ.

The theme of silence and the gospel must be situated within the context of Christ as the Divine Word. He broke four centuries of “prophetic silence” to accomplish God’s mission of redemption and bring hope to us all!

APPLY THE WORD

The apostle John opened his Gospel with words that directly evoke Genesis 1. If you have time, we suggest you read Genesis 1 as part of your devotional time today. Set the two passages side-by-side in order to better examine the themes and parallels. Creation and Incarnation are inextricably intertwined and life-changing realities!

 

http://www.todayintheword.org