Charles Stanley – What Christ’s Blood Does for Believers

 

Romans 3:21-26

Knowing what we believe is key to a life-sustaining faith. Yesterday we saw two of the blessings that are ours through the blood of the Savior. Today we will look at two more.

By trusting in Christ as Savior, we are …

Justified. Justification is the process by which God sees us as not guilty— just as if we had not committed any wrong. Romans 3:23 condemns all mankind as sinners who are under a sentence of death and facing a dreadful eternity apart from God and His blessings. But everything changes for the person who accepts Christ’s shed blood as payment for his or her sins—through Jesus, that sinner is declared “not guilty” and is provided with Christ’s righteousness. And the new believer is adopted into God’s own family (Gal. 3:26). Jesus’ sacrifice has satisfied our sin debt, and His death is counted by God as our own (Rom. 5:9).

Reconciled. Before salvation, we were separated from the Lord and spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1). We had no way to span the gap between Him and us. Christ sent His Holy Spirit to convict us of our guilt (John 16:8), make us aware that we need a Savior, and bring us to saving faith. Jesus, the Lamb of God, removed the barrier of sin that separated us from God. Christ died to reconcile us to God, “having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Col. 1:20).

As believers, we should understand what occurred when we received Jesus as Savior. Through His sacrifice, we are redeemed, forgiven, justified, and reconciled to God. That is, Christ’s blood has brought us from death to life—and has let us enter into an eternal relationship with the Father.

Bible in One Year: Proverbs 19-21

 

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Our Daily Bread — He Knows Us

 

Read: Psalm 139:1–14 | Bible in a Year: Psalms 7–9; Acts 18

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise. Psalm 139:1–2

Did God know about me as I drove at night on a 100-mile journey to my village? Given the condition I was in, the answer was not simple. My temperature ran high and my head ached. I prayed, “Lord, I know you are with me, but I’m in pain!”

Tired and weak, I parked by the road near a small village. Ten minutes later, I heard a voice. “Hello! Do you need any help?” It was a man with his companions from the community. Their presence felt good. When they told me the name of their village, Naa mi n’yala (meaning, “The King knows about me!”), I was amazed. I had passed this community dozens of times without stopping. This time, the Lord used its name to remind me that, indeed, He, the King, was with me while I was alone on that road in my ailing condition. Encouraged, I pressed on toward the nearest clinic.

God knows us thoroughly as we go about our everyday chores, at different locations and situations, no matter our condition (Psalm 139:1–4, 7–12). He does not abandon us or forget us; nor is He so busy that He neglects us. Even when we are in trouble or in difficult circumstances—“darkness” and “night” (vv. 11–12)—we are not hidden from His presence. This truth gives us such hope and assurance that we can praise the Lord who has carefully created us and leads us through life (v. 14).

Thank You, Lord, that You always know where I am and how I am doing. You know me inside and out. I’m thankful I can count on You to care.

No matter where we are, God knows about us.

By Lawrence Darmani

INSIGHT

In Psalm 139 David marvels at the Creator God. In these verses the poet-king reflects on God’s omniscience (vv. 1–6), omnipresence (vv. 7–12), and omnipotence (vv. 13–18)—clearly marking God out as distinct and above the creation He has made. This is the God who has welcomed us into relationship with Himself—and that invitation is based on His complete knowledge of who we are and how we have failed. His total awareness of our brokenness makes it all the more amazing that He desires for us to know Him.

Bill Crowder

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – A Word for Death

Researchers believe they have come up with a questionnaire that can measure a person’s chances of dying within the next four years.  According to one of the test’s designers, it is reported to be roughly 81 percent accurate among those who are 50 years or older.  Their report, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, claims the assessment will be useful to doctors in offering prognostic information and to patients who want a more determined look at the future. Regardless of the questionnaire’s effectiveness, however, the headline still strikes me as ironic: “Test Helps You Predict Chances of Dying.”(1) It brings to mind the lines of Emily Dickinson, “Because I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me.”  We don’t need a test, of course, to tell us our chances of dying.

British statesman and avowed atheist Roy Hattersley writes in the Guardian of an experience at a funeral. It was a funeral, he said, which almost converted him to the belief that funeral services—of which he has disapproved for years—ought to be encouraged. His conclusion was forged as he sang the hymns and studied the proclamations of a crowd that seemed sincere: “[T]he church is so much better at staging last farewells than non-believers could ever be.”(2) He continues, “‘Death where is thy sting, grave where is thy victory?’ are stupid questions. But even those of us who do not expect salvation find a note of triumph in the burial service. There could be a godless thanksgiving for and celebration of the life of [whomever]. The music might be much the same. But it would not have the uplifting effect without the magnificent, meaningless, words.”

I had never been to a funeral until I was the seminary intern for a small rural church in Oklahoma. I had attended a visitation once and a few memorial services years earlier, but I had never watched a family move from planning to wake to service to burial, until I assisted more families through the entire funeral process than seemed possible for the small congregation. The number of deaths seemed to me grossly disproportionate to the number births in the church that year.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – A Word for Death

Joyce Meyer – Develop Your Potential

 

…He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. — Philippians 1:6 (AMPC)

Adapted from the resource Power Thoughts Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

Before the days of digital cameras, cameras had film that had to be taken to a processor or a darkroom for development. Just having the undeveloped film didn’t do you any good. But once you went through the process of development, you had beautiful pictures for yourself and others to see.

It’s the same with you. God placed potential inside you, but just having potential is not enough. Be willing to let God work daily to bring you to spiritual maturity in Him. It takes time and a willingness to let God work in your life to develop your potential, but I guarantee you can make a difference in the world and enjoy an amazing life as you learn to be led by the Holy Spirit rather than by your own will and ways.

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for the great work You are doing in my life. Help me to continually cooperate with You to develop my potential and the gifts You have placed inside of me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Spirit of His Son

 

“And because we are His sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, so now we can rightly speak of God as our dear Father.” (Galatians 4:6).

What would you say is the most sacred privilege and indescribable honor of your entire lifetime? If you are a Christian and you rightly understand the meaning of our verse for today, you will agree that nothing compares with presenting your body to the Holy Spirit to be His dwelling place here on earth.

Wherever I am in the world, whether speaking in meetings, reading the Bible, praying, counseling, attending various conferences, alone in my hotel room, or enjoying the company of my dearly beloved wife and family, I am always keenly aware that my body is a temple of God and there is no higher privilege.

I am reminded of the Virgin Mary’s response to the angel’s announcement that she would conceive a child by the Holy Spirit. “Oh, how I praise the Lord! How I rejoice in God my Savior, for He has taken notice of this lowly servant girl and now, generation after generation, forever shall be called blessed of God, for He, the mighty one, has done great things to me.”

“His mercy goes on from generation to generation to all who reverence Him,” she continues in triumphant, joyful expression of her grateful heart.

We, too, should praise and give thanks to God constantly for the privilege of being chosen to be a temple in which he dwells here on earth. As one meditates upon this fact, one becomes intoxicated with the realization that the infinite, omnipotent, holy, loving, righteous God and Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now dwell within us who have received Him.

There are many believers who are not fully aware of the significance of this fact, because though they as believers in Christ possess the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit does not possess all of them. Ours is the indescribable privilege of presenting our bodies to Him as a living sacrifice, as temples in which He will dwell. Only then, will we have the power to live the abundant, supernatural life promised to those who yield their hearts and lives to the control of the Holy Spirit.

Bible Reading:Galatians 4:7-14

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: As often as the thought comes to mind today, I will acknowledge the fullness and control of God’s Holy Spirit in my life. I will also encourage other Christians to claim by faith the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit for their lives.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Work for the Lord Rather Than People

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

When Michelangelo was in his early thirties, the pope invited him to paint a dozen figures on the ceiling of a Vatican chapel. Painting wasn’t Michelangelo’s first passion and he almost refused the project, thinking it was an insignificant one. But he accepted, and as he painted his enthusiasm mounted. Four years, four-hundred figures, and nine scenes later, Michelangelo had changed more than the chapel; he’d changed the direction of art and the style of European painting.

What turned Michelangelo’s work of obligation into an act of inspiration? An observer asked why he focused such attention on the corners of the chapel. “No one will ever see them,” he suggested. Michelangelo’s reply? “God will.” The artist must have known the scripture, “Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” (Ephesians 6:7).

Read more Cure for the Common Life

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

http://www.maxlucado.com

Denison Forum – The surprising tour de force at the Tour de France

While the globe is fixated on Sunday’s World Cup final in Moscow between France and Croatia, the world’s largest annual sporting event is taking place more than 1,600 miles to the west. According to organizers, 3.5 billion people in 190 countries tune in to watch the Tour de France each year. Twelve million roadside spectators will cheer the cyclists.

Britain’s Geraint Thomas is currently in second place, just three seconds off the lead. Prior to 2012, a British cyclist had not won the race since its inception in 1903. In the last six years, Great Britain has won the title five times.

What explains their extraordinary success?

The “aggregation of marginal gains”

James Clear is “an author, photographer, and weightlifter focused on habits and decision making.” I read his email columns with great profit.

His latest article is titled, “This Coach Improved Every Tiny Thing by 1 Percent and Here’s What Happened.” He profiles Dave Brailsford, who took over the British cycling team in 2010.

Continue reading Denison Forum – The surprising tour de force at the Tour de France