Charles Stanley – Divine Truth

 

Psalm 32:8-10

The Lord doesn’t swoop down to pull us out of difficult situations, so how does He rescue and help us? Today’s verses remind us that when we don’t know which way to turn, the Word of God sheds light on the trouble we are facing and gives us divine instruction. His truth arms us with all the knowledge we need. The challenge, then, is how to apply what He has taught us.

It’s interesting that God says He will guide us with His eye (Psalm 32:8). Isn’t that just what fathers do? We’ve all experienced being aware of a parent or teacher’s watchful eye—and understanding the message that person was trying to convey through a certain look or expression. Perhaps we’ve even communicated instructions or sentiments that way ourselves.

God does not shout at us or send new epistles from heaven when He wants to instruct us. Most often, He quietly but precisely guides us through situations by showing us the truth of Scripture. Sometimes the Holy Spirit prompts us in the right direction, too. Either way, when God speaks to us, we need to listen and be still for a while with that information. Otherwise we’ll face the temptation to handle matters in our own way and time frame instead of His.

Remember that when the heavenly Father wants to lead you through something, it’s not to simply get you out of trouble. It’s to teach you obedience and transform you into the likeness of His Son. When you yield to Him, you will be able to rejoice in the midst of your troubles, knowing that He will bring you through them.

Bible in One Year: Proverbs 22-25

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Hiding Our Hurts

 

Read: Hebrews 4:12–13 | Bible in a Year: Psalms 10–12; Acts 19:1–20

The word of God . . . judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

I was guest-speaking in a local church and my topic was an honest story about presenting our brokenness before God and receiving the healing He wants to give. Before closing in prayer, the pastor stood in the center aisle, looked deeply into the eyes of his gathered congregants, and said, “As your pastor I have the privilege of seeing you midweek and hearing your heart-breaking stories of brokenness. Then in our weekend worship services, I have the pain of watching you hide your hurt away.”

My heart ached at the hidden hurts God came to heal. The writer of Hebrews describes the Word of God as alive and active. Many have understood this “word” to be the Bible, but it’s even more than that. Jesus is the living Word of God. He evaluates our thoughts and attitudes—and loves us still.

Jesus died to give us access to God’s presence, all the time. And while we all know it’s not wise to share everything with everyone, we also know that God intends His church be a place where we can live unapologetically as broken and forgiven followers of Christ. It’s to be a place where we “carry each other’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2).

What are you hiding from others today? And how are you trying to hide from God as well? God sees us through Jesus. And He still loves us. Will we let Him?

Who will you prayerfully consider letting help you carry your burdens?

God sees us with the eyes of a Father.

By Elisa Morgan

INSIGHT

Hebrews 4:12–13 has long been interpreted as referring to the Bible itself. And it’s certainly true that God’s Word is “alive and active.” But when we consider that in John 1:1–14 Jesus Himself is called the Word, we gain a fuller comprehension of how this Word can judge the “thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

As we become aware of God’s intimate knowledge of our hearts and motives, we might find that awareness intimidating. Yet this knowledge isn’t intended to drive us from God’s presence but rather to draw us to Him. In this same context of Hebrews 4, the writer points to Jesus, our “great high priest who has ascended into heaven” (v. 14). We may draw close to Him because He can “empathize with our weaknesses” (v. 15) and has Himself made the way for us to “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence” (v. 16).

As we learn to be increasingly open and honest with God, who knows every hidden corner of our hearts, we also gain confidence to be transparent with each other.

Tim Gustafson

 

http://www.odb.org

Streams in the Desert for Kids – How to Please God

 

Hebrews 11:6

When we are facing a tough, extreme, or tragic situation, our faith is either strengthened or destroyed. Consider the intensity of a fire. Most things can’t withstand its heat, as it can consume entire forests and neighborhoods in a matter of days. But the same fire doesn’t burn up gold. Instead, it purifies it.

When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego faced the furnace, they confirmed they would praise only the living God. It was a death sentence. They could have decided to save themselves by doing what the king wanted, but their faith would have been unreliable—burned up in the midst of danger. Instead they went against the king by keeping their loyalty to the Lord. Their faith was purified. Whether God saved them or decided not to, their faith didn’t waver because the holy object of their faith never wavers. (And God did save them in the most dramatic way: after they were thrown into the fire, they walked out unharmed!)

In an impossible situation, faith recognizes that the only hope is in God. If you are facing a desperate time, remember that your faith is being purified. If you don’t know all the answers, your faith is being developed. You may be overwhelmed by uncertainty and doubt, but your faith is being strengthened.

Dear Lord, Because you are trustworthy, I have faith in you. When I am desperate, I will turn to you. Amen

Joyce Meyer – Ask for Help

 

Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]. — James 5:16 (AMPC)

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

Addictions, habits, or negative attitudes can wear you out. If you need deliverance from some wrong behavior, the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is your Helper (see John 14:6). Confess your need to God, and ask Him to deliver you.

He may lead you to confess your faults to other believers whom you can trust to pray for you. The Word says that we are to confess our faults to one other so that we may be healed and restored. If you are out of control in some area, be honest about it. Today can be your day of deliverance.

Prayer Starter: Father, right now I ask for Your help to overcome the things that are controlling my life. Help me to approach these things with honesty, and give me the strength to reach out to others who can help me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Awards for Faithfulness

 

“Stop being afraid of what you are about to suffer – for the devil will soon throw some of you into prison to test you. You will be persecuted for ‘ten days.’ Remain faithful even when facing death and I will give you the crown of life – an unending, glorious future” (Revelation 2:10).

I find this a very timely word of caution, for we live in a day when it appears that the enemy is making his last fling. I would not attempt to set dates, for it may be years, decades or even centuries before the culmination of all things.

But the fact remains that committed believers are facing persecution and testing as perhaps seldom before. You and I may be called upon to suffer for the cause of Christ. By faith, we are not to fear, knowing that an “unending, glorious future” awaits us.

This promise might apply equally to the physical suffering we encounter from time to time as a part of the natural order of things. If we can accept such suffering as part of God’s plan for us – one of the “all things” of Romans 8:28 that is working together for our good – we will be among those victors who are able to “count it all joy.”

As we consider these possibilities, we may be optimistic, even cheerful, knowing that we are already on the winning side – more than conquerors. And we need not be afraid, for “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Bible Reading:Revelation 2:8-11

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will count on God’s promise of Romans 8:28 to do only that which is good for me, regardless of the circumstances. He will enable me to live supernaturally.

 

http://www.cru.org

Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – The Book of Isaiah: Seeing the Glory of God

 

A MOUNT SWALLOWED IN JOY

Isaiah 25:1–12, Isaiah 25–26

In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby, the character Nick describes the Saturday evening parties he sees at Gatsby’s home: “The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside. . . . The lights grow brighter as the earth lurches away from the sun, and now the orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music, and the opera of voices pitches a key higher. Laughter is easier minute by minute, spilled with prodigality, tipped out at a cheerful word.” So great are the parties that it takes eight house servants working all day each Monday to clean up the mess from the extravagant celebration.

Compared to the party that Judah will have on Mount Zion, Gatsby’s parties will seem like one insignificant candle flickering on a poorly made cake! The Lord Almighty Himself will make this festival for His people (v. 6). He will serve only the richest wine and best meats, swallowing up the mountain in His joy.

Four things will turn the day that the Lord saves Judah into a party like no other (v. 8). First, He will destroy death, the great enemy to life. No more will we feel the loss of the deterioration of a body. Second, the Lord will remove the sorrow we have experienced in this present world. Sadness from our own mistakes or from the wrongs of others will be wiped away.

Third, the guilt of our sin will be removed; no more will this weight plague us or destroy our fellowship with the Lord. Fourth, the pride of those who have exalted themselves against the Lord and His people will be brought low. Never again will believers be persecuted or hear someone mock our God. Instead we will hear, “Let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation” (v. 9)!

APPLY THE WORD

These points can help guide our celebrations. Rather than debauched parties, we can have times of feasting and festival that remind us that our God delights in praise. Our times of celebration now on earth should celebrate life, encourage joy, resist sinfulness, and provide opportunities for God’s people to come together in worship and rejoicing.

 

http://www.todayintheword.org