Charles Stanley – The Coming Judgment

 

Acts 10:42-43

Have you ever been required to appear in court before a judge? Even if your only offense was a parking or speeding ticket, the courtroom experience can be very intimidating. Your wrong cannot be undone, and you must give an account for your actions and accept whatever consequences the judge decrees.

There will come a day when every human being will be required to stand before the Judge of the universe. At that point, there’s no turning back, no chance to start over. We will each be held accountable by almighty God for our choices and actions in this life.

If you’ve trusted in Jesus, you will appear before the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10). This isn’t a judgment of your sins, because they were judged when God’s wrath was poured out on His Son at Calvary. Since the Savior has already secured your eternal destiny, you will stand before God, clothed in Christ’s righteousness. The purpose of this judgment is evaluation of your works to determine if they are worthless or deserving of a reward.

The Great White Throne Judgment is reserved for people who have rejected Jesus as Savior (Revelation 20:11-15). The works they have done will be evaluated according to God’s record books. Since their names are not written in the book of life, their eternal destination will be the lake of fire.

Although no one can avoid being judged, the good news is that you have a choice regarding which judgment seat you will appear before. But the only time you can make that choice is in this lifetime. Once your earthly life ends, your destiny is set.

Bible in One Year: Proverbs 9-12

 

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Our Daily Bread — God of the Depths

 

Read: Job 41:12–34 | Bible in a Year: Job 41–42; Acts 16:22–40

There is the sea, vast and spacious, . . . and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there. Psalm 104:25–26

“When you go to the deep sea, every time you take a sample, you’ll find a new species,” says marine biologist Ward Appeltans. In one recent year, scientists identified 1,451 new types of undersea life. We simply don’t know the half of what’s down there.

In Job 38–40, God reviewed His creation for Job’s benefit. In three poetic chapters, God highlighted the wonders of weather, the vastness of the cosmos, and the variety of creatures in their habitats. These are things we can observe. Then God spoke of the mysterious Leviathan—for an entire chapter. Leviathan is a creature like no other, with harpoon-deflecting armor (Job 41:7, 13), graceful power (v. 12), and “fearsome teeth” (v. 14). “Flames stream from its mouth . . . smoke pours from its nostrils” (vv. 19–20). “Nothing on earth is its equal” (v. 33).

Okay, so God talks about a huge creature we haven’t seen. Is that the point of Job 41?

No! Job 41 broadens our understanding of God’s surprising character. The psalmist expanded on this when he wrote, “There is the sea, vast and spacious, . . . and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there” (Psalm 104:25–26). After the terrifying description in Job, we learn that God created a playpen for this most fearsome of all creatures. Leviathan frolics.

We have the present to explore the ocean. We’ll have eternity to explore the wonders of our magnificent, mysterious, playful God.

Our exploration of creation teaches us about the Creator.

By Tim Gustafson | See Other Authors

INSIGHT

To learn more about the Creator, check out christianuniversity.org/CA203

 

 

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Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Beyond Friends

On a typical sunny day in my neighborhood, folks flock to the beach. This beautiful public park with nature trails and a sandy shoreline meanders alongside Puget Sound. Children play in the sand, families bring picnics, people walk, bike, and skateboard, and the dogs of the city frolic in the nearby dog park.

I often wander along this beach as a regular part of my walking route. I suspect that similar scenes of bucolic life are played out all over the world in communities just like the one I live in, homogeneous groups gathering to enjoy all of nature’s bounty together. Seemingly without care, life rolls along gently with abundance and blessing.

The film No Country for Old Men presents scenes radically different from the ones I see at my neighborhood beach. Random, cruel, and senseless violence committed against innocent persons serves as the bleak backdrop of a nihilistic world in which cruelty and evil conquer goodness. There are no bucolic landscapes to enjoy. The ravages of savagery fill scene after scene. While not based on actual events, the violence depicted in the film could accurately capture the climate in many cities around the world, where the innocent and the guilty alike are gunned down in cold blood for no reason. Theirs is a world where the will to power is the only rule of law.

This film, unlike any other, made me wonder about the reach of the good news of the gospel that Christians proclaim. In other words, is the good news only good for those who dwell on the beach, in bucolic landscapes of comfort and joy with others just like themselves? Or is it something intended to go beyond a close circle of friends? Is the gospel reaching beyond those who are like me, and reaching out to those who are different from me? Does the gospel make a difference in a world like the one depicted in this harrowing film? For if the gospel isn’t making a difference in places where violence and suffering are a way of life, is it making a difference at all?

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Joyce Meyer – Celebrate Ordinary Life

 

Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. — Ecclesiastes 5:18

Adapted from the resource Love Out Loud Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

Every day is not Christmas or your birthday or even a holiday at school or work. In fact, most days are ordinary; they don’t have anything special about them unless we make them special. Too many ordinary days, especially if stress is “ordinary” for you, can lead to fatigue, lack of joy, resentment, or even bitterness. The way to avoid these things is to take time to celebrate and do things you enjoy—for no particular reason. Do them to celebrate life and to keep yourself in a good frame of mind.

The first thing your brain may say to you when you decide to have a little celebration in the middle of a mundane day is, You don’t have time to do that. But I am telling you that you need to take the time. If you do, your remaining tasks will go more smoothly and joyfully. If you don’t, then you are probably headed for some version of sinking emotions—discouragement, anger, resentment, or self-pity. When you start to feel down, just take the time to do something “up” that lifts your mood and helps you feel better about life in general.

Perhaps we could enjoy everyday life more if we learned to celebrate the ordinary. Eat a cookie (not a dozen), go to lunch with a good friend, sit in the sunshine, go for a walk. Take the time to do whatever is special to you in the midst of your ordinary, everyday activities.

No day needs to be ordinary if we realize the gift God is giving us when He gives us another day.

Prayer Starter: Father, help me to celebrate life today. In the midst of my busy day, allow me to see opportunities to laugh or do something special that will lift my mood. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

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Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – We Are Held Securely

 

“No one who has become part of God’s family makes a practice of sinning, for Christ, God’s Son, holds him securely and the devil cannot get his hands on him” (1 John 5:18).

“I am enjoying my new-found liberty. I know that I am a Christian. I know that I am going to heaven, but for the moment I want to do my own thing. I recognize that the Lord may discipline me for the things that I am doing which the Bible says are wrong. I was reared in a very strict, legalistic Christian family and church and I have never enjoyed life before, but now I am having a ball. I don’t see anything wrong with drinking and sex and the other so-called sins that I have been told all my life were so terribly wrong.”

Do you believe that person is a Christian? Of course I have no way of judging, but according to the Word of God it is quite likely that this person has never really experienced a new birth. Can you imagine a beautiful butterfly going back to crawl in the dirt as it did as a caterpillar?

It is possible of course, for a Christian, one who has experienced new life in Christ, to sin, and even to continue in sin for a period of time, but never with a casual, flippant indifference to God’s way as this person expressed.

In the second chapter of the same epistle, the writer says the same thing in different words: “How can we be sure that we belong to Him? By looking within ourselves: are we really trying to do what He wants us to? Someone may say, ‘I am a Christian; I am on my way to heaven; I belong to Christ.’ But if he doesn’t do what Christ tells him to do, he is a liar. But those who do what Christ tells them to will learn to love God more and more. That is the way to know whether or not you are a Christian. Anyone who says he is a Christian should live as Christ did” (1 John 2:3-6).

Though it is not possible for us in this life to know the perfection that our Lord experienced, there will be that heartfelt desire to do what He wants us to do. Therefore, anyone who is a child of God will not make a practice of sinning. Those who are inclined should consider the possibility that they could be forever separated from God on judgement day.

Bible Reading:I John 5:1-21

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I am assured of my own salvation through faith in Christ which is demonstrated by the transformation of my attitudes and actions. I will encourage professing Christians, whose lives do not reflect God’s desires, to appropriate by faith the fullness of the Holy Spirit and His power in their daily walk so that they, too, can have the assurance of their salvation and their place in God’s special kingdom.

 

 

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Max Lucado – Surrendering Our Common Life

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

God grants us an uncommon life to the degree that we surrender our common one.  Jesus said, “If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it.  But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life” (Matthew 16:25).

Imagine that you are a photographer for an ad agency and your boss assigns you your biggest photo shoot ever—an adult magazine.  Say yes and polish your reputation; yet you’ll use your God-given gifts to tarnish Christ’s reputation. What do you choose?  You have a choice!

Jesus did too.  He “made himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men…he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:7-8). Christ abandoned his reputation, and God hunts for those who will do likewise.

Read more Cure for the Common Life

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

 

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Denison Forum – President Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court

In what CNN called a “Supreme Court pick for the ages,” President Trump has nominated DC Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the US Supreme Court.

Judge Kavanaugh is a graduate of Yale Law School and clerked for Anthony Kennedy. He also served as a lawyer for White House Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr and as staff secretary for President George W. Bush.

Mr. Kavanaugh and his wife, Ashley, have two daughters. An active Roman Catholic, he volunteers for the meals program at Catholic Charities and has tutored at the Washington Jesuit Academy. He continues to coach girls basketball teams and has completed the Boston Marathon twice. In accepting the president’s nomination, Judge Kavanaugh stated, “A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law.”

Given his significance to the ideological balance of the Court, the New York Times predicts an “epic confirmation battle” ahead. Opponents are already running ads in the states of key senators and planning procedural delays.

“Now is the time for hardball,” according to one liberal activist.

Rulings that changed the nation

The Supreme Court of the United States produces nothing but words. It doesn’t manufacture products, or build homes, or heal the sick. Its nine justices communicate ideas conveyed in rulings.

Continue reading Denison Forum – President Trump nominates Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court