Charles Stanley – God’s Promise to Provide

 

Philippians 4:10-19

Today’s passage contains a marvelous promise—that “God will supply all your needs” (Phil. 4:19). Although these words bring great encouragement, we can’t afford to ignore the rest of the verse or the surrounding context.

“According to His riches in glory” (v. 19). This phrase emphasizes the sufficiency of God’s supply, but it also reveals that many of His provisions are spiritual. We usually want Him to provide physically—and He often does. However, He is more concerned with the condition of our spirit. Since He knows that trials assist in conforming us to the image of Christ, some difficulties may remain until they have accomplished His good purpose in us.

“In Christ Jesus” (v. 19). These may be the most important words of the verse, as they give the basis for the Lord’s abundant supply. It has nothing to do with our hard work or worthiness but is based only on our relationship with God through His Son. As our Father, He assumes the responsibility for meeting the needs of His children.

“You have done well to share with me” (Phil. 4:14). The Philippians were generous people who sent Paul gifts when they could. Their generosity enabled him to assure them of the Lord’s provision: “Give, and it will be given to you” (Luke 6:38).

Pulling verses out of context can distort our understanding of God’s promises. Resulting misconceptions may lead to disappointment and doubt, leaving us to wonder why God isn’t doing what He said. Knowledge of the context motivates obedience and helps us recognize God’s less obvious provisions.

Bible in One Year: Song of Solomon 1-4

 

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Our Daily Bread — Home Sweet Home

 

Read: John 14:1–14 | Bible in a Year: Psalms 26–28; Acts 22

I am going there to prepare a place for you. John 14:2

“Why do we have to leave our home and move?” my son asked. It’s difficult to explain what a home is, especially to a five-year-old. We were leaving a house, but not our home, in the sense that home is where our loved ones are. It’s the place where we long to return after a long trip or after a full day’s work.

When Jesus was in the upper room just hours before He died, He told His disciples, “Do not let your hearts be troubled” (John 14:1). The disciples were uncertain of their future because Jesus had predicted His death. But Jesus reassured them of His presence and reminded them they would see Him again. He told them, “My Father’s house has many rooms . . . . I am going there to prepare a place for you” (v. 2). He could have used other words to describe heaven. However, He chose words that describe not an uncomfortable or unfamiliar place but a place where Jesus, our loved One, would be.

  1. S. Lewis wrote, “Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.” We can thank God for the “pleasant inns” in life, but let’s remember that our real home is in heaven where we “will be with the Lord forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

Dear Lord, I thank You for heaven, my eternal home.

Read more about the life to come at discoveryseries.org/q1205.

We look forward to being with the Lord forever.

By Keila Ochoa

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Paradigms of Beauty

Dale Henderson gives cello concerts in New York City subway stations because he fears the day when classical music will be no more. He plays for free, focusing primarily on Bach Solo Cello Suites because their “power and beauty unfailingly inspire great appreciation, joy and deep emotion in those who hear them.”(1) Some commuters stop and stare, curious or captivated, many having never heard a cello or Bach concerto before. For Henderson, the music is an offering of something meaningful, seeds for future generations of classical music admirers who would not otherwise know it, beauty well worth lugging his heavy cello down into the subways to protect.

It is not always easy to talk about beauty without a minefield of objections or at best complicating list of qualifiers. Its modern place in the “eye of the beholder” gives it a tenuous feel at best. Its ancient place as a perfect and ancient ideal is equally held with abstraction. While Henderson describes a world without classical music as soul-less, others may not miss it so much. And the contrast of beauty in a broken and breaking world makes its distinctive encounters increasingly stand out.

One author describes the common, but individual, effect of our varied encounters of the beautiful this way: “‘Beauty’ seems suited to those experiences that stop us in our tracks. Whether it’s a painting called Broadway Boogie-Woogie or a scherzo by Paganini, the beautiful is conducive to stillness. It doesn’t excite us, or necessarily instill in us the desire to replicate it; it simply makes us exist as though we’re existing for that very experience.”(2) His words are rife with the power of beauty to create longing, a desire to somehow participate. Beauty indeed leaves us with the ache of longing for another taste, another glimpse. And for each of us, this longing can come at unique or unsuspecting times—at the spectacular sight of the giant sequoias or a tiny praying mantis, at a concert or watching a First Nation powwow and taking in the colors, the drums, the survival of a betrayed people.

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Joyce Meyer – From the Pit to the Palace

 

So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the robe of many colors that he wore. And they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it. — Genesis 37:23-24

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

When Joseph’s brothers threw him in the pit to die, God had other plans. Scripture says that even though Joseph was sold as a slave, he did not have a slave mentality. He still believed he could do great things. Ultimately, he ended up second in command to Pharaoh, the ruler over all Egypt.

How did Joseph get from the pit to the palace? It was by remaining positive, refusing to be bitter, being confident, and trusting God.

Make up your mind right now to do something great for God. No matter where you started, you can have a great finish. If people have mistreated you, don’t waste your time trying to get revenge—leave them in God’s hands and trust Him to bring justice in your life.

Prayer Starter: Lord, only You can take the bad things that have happened and work them out for my good. Help me to stay positive, trust in You, and refuse to give up. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – In the Book of Life

 

“Everyone who conquers will be clothed in white, and I will not erase his name from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and His angels that he is Mine” (Revelation 3:5).

Perhaps you have rejoiced – as I have – at the reminder that our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, God’s heavenly record of the redeemed.

Here are two more promises to the conqueror, the overcomer, the victorious Christian – one having to do with future reign, the other with our security in Him.

Not only to the believers in Sardis who should be victorious, but also to those in every age and every land, lies the hope – indeed the promise – of appearing with Christ in white robes expressing holiness and joy in that future day when He shall rule and reign on this earth.

If you are a believer in Christ, your name is in the that book which contains the names of those who are to live with Him throughout eternity. Not to have our names erased, of course, means that the names will be found there on the great day of final account, and forever and ever.

What better way could we use our time today – and tomorrow – and the next day – than to add names to the Book of Life, by faithfully witnessing to others about the good news of the gospel? Our privilege and responsibility is to share; God’s Holy Spirit does the work of convicting and saving.

Bible Reading:Revelation 3:1-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: “Dear Lord, help me to add names to Your Book of Life by sharing my faith in You at every possible opportunity.”

 

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Press the Pause Button

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Jesus repeatedly escaped the noise of the crowd in order to hear the voice of God! Which presupposes a decision on his part.  I need to get away…to think…to calibrate my course. With resolve, he pressed the pause button on his life.

Richard Foster hit the mark when he wrote,  “If our Adversary can keep us engaged in ‘muchness’ and ‘manyness,’ he will rest satisfied.” The devil implants taxi meters in our brains.  We hear the relentless tick, tick, tick telling us to hurry, hurry, hurry, time is money—resulting in this roaring blur called the human race.

Follow Jesus into the desert.  Accept your Master’s invitation to  “Come aside by yourself to a desert place and rest a while” (Mark 6:31).

Read more Cure for the Common Life

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

http://www.maxlucado.com

Denison Forum – Free cheeseburgers and the secret to positive living

Cody is a ten-year-old boxer-lab mix who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. His owner, Alex Karcher, discovered that Cody would take his medicines more easily if he eats them with Burger King cheeseburgers.

When Alex told a restaurant employee his story, the manager told him that their location would provide free cheeseburgers for Cody for the rest of his life. After Alex wrote a letter to express his gratitude, the official Burger King Twitter account responded: “The world needs more kindness and empathy. Thank you for giving us the chance to do this for Cody.”

“The power of positive people”

The New York Times recently carried a fascinating article titled, “The Power of Positive People.” The writer focuses on research indicating that our well-being is significantly influenced by the company we keep.

For instance, positive friendships are especially common in regions of the world where people live far longer than the average. Experts are now encouraging us to create intentional networks of friends who will help us build long-term supportive relationships.

We can certainly use more positivity in our lives today. Consider this story in the news: Young adults are drinking themselves to death.

According to a new report, deaths from cirrhosis—the late stages of liver damage—rose by 65 percent between 1999 and 2016. Deaths from liver cancer doubled. From 2009 to 2016, the greatest increase in death rate from cirrhosis was among people between the ages of twenty-five and thirty-four, and the major cause was alcohol.

Continue reading Denison Forum – Free cheeseburgers and the secret to positive living

LGBTQ Totalitarianism in Boston: The Destruction of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Irish heritage and the legacy of one of Catholicism’s greatest missionaries take a backseat to sexual dysfunction.

In 1995, a remarkable 9-0 ruling was handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court.  A Catholic veterans’ group, organizers of the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in South Boston, were vindicated in their refusal to allow a homosexual activist group to march in their parade.  The Court confirmed that the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council was protected by the First Amendment and could reject a group if it “impart[ed] a message that the [parade] organizers do not wish to convey.”

Twenty-three years later, orthodox Boston Irish Catholics will no longer have the prominent public voice on St. Patrick’s Day.  They’ve been elbowed out by secular celebrants of disordered sexuality.

South Boston has fallen.  LGBTQ radicals have just seized complete control of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, with the director of a front group, OUTVETS, put in charge of the event.

The shocking evolution of the parade from a celebration of Irish Catholic heritage to an overtly LGBTQ event should be a warning to those who advocate “inclusion” within their institutions.  The infusion of LGBTQ sexuality will inevitably upend tried and true traditions and moral standards.  We see this happening most clearly in our schools and churches.

Profile of an LGBTQ Takeover

The Catholic Action League of Massachusetts and the pro-family groupMassResistance have chronicled the sad demise of the St. Patrick’s Day event (while attempting to save it).  The League’s executive director, C.J. Doyle, explained in a recent press release:

During the 2013 Boston mayoral election … then State Representative [Marty] Walsh promised homosexual activists that, if elected, he would compel the Veterans Council to reverse their position [not allowing “gay” groups in the parade].  Shortly after taking office in January, 2014, Walsh began a campaign of intimidation which included threats to boycott the parade, threats to withhold city permitsclaims that the Boston Police could not prevent violent disruptions of the parade, and personally shouting, in a public forum, threats and obscenities at [the] parade marshal[.]

In 2014, Mayor Walsh – a former union boss – first tried to force inclusion of the “LGBTQ rights” group MassEquality.  The Catholic Action League andMassResistance helped hold off this first assault.  The would-be invaders regrouped.

The mayor secured a foothold in 2015. That year, Boston Pride marchers wereallowed in the parade.  Its president said, “We are wicked proud of … finally breaking that wall.  It’s a huge change, especially 20 years later, to have that understanding and make sure people feel welcome in the parade.”  The Boston Pride organization had no discernable connection to the parade’s Boston Irish Catholic theme, but only to LGBTQ activism.  A wall certainly was broken.

Another LGBTQ group, OUTVETS, marched in the 2015 parade, wearing rainbow patches and carrying a rainbow banner reading, Pride – Honor – Sacrifice.  MassResistance reported, “By all accounts, OUTVETS is a contrived group of Boston city employees created in late 2014 by Mayor Marty Walsh specifically to be a homosexual ‘veterans’ presence in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.”

St. Patrick was not pleased.  Nor were the local Knights of Columbus, who refused to march in 2015 because the event had “become politicized and divisive.”

The two LGBT groups marched again in 2016.  The Catholic Action League and MassResistance amassed over 6,000 signatures demanding that “organizers remove the name of ‘St. Patrick’ from the parade because the inclusion of anti-Catholic homosexual groups made it impossible to honor a Catholic saint.”

The rainbow symbols proclaiming LGBTQ identifications of the two groups clearly violated the organizers’ rules.  But their objection was weakly voiced.

The final capitulation came in 2017.  Mayor Walsh was determined to wipe out any glimmer of resistance to sexual radicals’ participation.  The Veterans Council’s objection to LGBT symbols had to be overcome.  The mayor continued to strong-arm the parade organization.  Powerful politicians and corporate sponsors threatened to withhold support.

Worse, Antifa-style riots were being planned to disrupt the 2017 parade if LGBTQ groups were not given full participation.  No mainstream outlet reportedon those threats of violence.

A former Veterans Council commander told MassResistance that the Boston police commissioner’s office had warned parade organizer Tim Duross:

[B]usloads of LGBT activists from other states were planning to come to Boston to protest the parade and disrupt it.  Furthermore, there would likely be violence and even possible deaths.  The police strongly implied that they could not contain such violence – and that Duross would be responsible if it happened – unless he allowed the homosexual group to march.

This was confirmed by the 2017 council commander.  And parade organizer Duross said:

[T]he threats had been discovered through various social media, and that he had met with the Police Commissioner who said that the threats were real, that busses of activists would be coming to converge on the parade – similar to other recent organized riots around the country – and this needed to be taken seriously.  There seemed to be the implication that the police would not be able to contain it.  “If anybody got hurt because of this, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself,” Duross told MassResistance.  He said that he felt he had no choice but to let the homosexual group in.  Duross said that he had also been personally targeted with harassment and threats.

Sadly, the Boston Archdiocese never stepped in to corral the errant nominal Catholics (such as the Boston mayor).  So leftist strong-arm tactics and threats of violence won once again.

C.J. Doyle (Catholic Action League) laments:

Saint Patrick’s Day was instituted to commemorate the Apostle who brought the Catholic Faith to Ireland.  It is impossible to honor Saint Patrick while showcasing those who not only repudiate the moral code of Saint Patrick’s religion, but who castigate that code as bigotry, prejudice, hatred and homophobia.

Everything which OUTVETS represents is radically discordant with the life and mission of Saint Patrick, who rescued an entire nation from paganism and its libertine moral practices.  OUTVETS cares nothing for the traditional culture and heritage of once Catholic Ireland.  For them, this event is an opportunity to impose their anti-Catholic ideology on an historically Catholic celebration.

This also speaks to the totalitarian instincts of homosexual activists, who must, evidently, not only defeat the victims of their aggression, but then dispossess them of their organizations, and prevent them from ever opposing them again.

It’s not enough that LGBTQ groups overrun Boston during the month of June with their “pride” parades and orgies.  Now they control another big parade in March.

The demise of Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is just one example of how allowing LGBTQ individuals to openly serve in the U.S. military has opened doors for their activist interference in other social realms.  If LGBTQ participation in the military is recognized as legitimate, who can refuse to recognize their inclusion in other settings?

LGBTQ groups parading their identities is not just about advocating sexual freedom or inclusion.  It’s about politics (wielding power).  It’s about making everyone else bow to LGBTQ feelings and demands.  And it’s about crushing orthodox religion.

Why are conservatives institutions (hello, Catholic Church) not fighting back?

Amy Contrada is with MassResistance and author of Mitt Romney’s Deception.  She has degrees from Tufts and Brown plus a diploma in violin-making.  See AmyContrada.com for some of her writing.

 

Source: LGBTQ Totalitarianism in Boston: The Destruction of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade