Charles Stanley – Wisdom for Life

 

Proverbs 4:10-27

Sometimes life seems like a confusing maze of options, and we don’t know which path to choose. What we need is God’s wisdom to guide us. Our first source for insight is His Word, but that is not the end. With scriptural principles as our foundation, God provides other opportunities that can help us grow in wisdom.

Discernment. Instead of blindly accepting cultural ideas, we should compare what we hear and see around us with what God has said in His Word. Then we’ll recognize evil and deception and have the wisdom to avoid that path.

Observation. By noticing actions of godly and ungodly people, we gain wisdom. As we observe their mistakes and successes, as well as our own past, we learn the blessings of obedience and the consequences of wrongdoing.

Godly counsel. The Lord will sometimes use other people to give direction for our life (Prov. 12:15). Whether they speak encouragement or correction, we can trust their advice when it lines up with Scripture and is confirmed by the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Wise Associates. There’s great benefit in spending time with those who know the Lord and routinely respond in a godly manner (Prov. 13:20). Before developing close relationships, we should learn what people value. As we recognize which individuals reflect wisdom in thought and deed, we can cultivate a relationship with them and emulate their discerning ways.

God wants us to pay attention to what we see and hear—and to be deliberate in our choice of companions. Wisdom isn’t just having the right information; it’s an ability to perceive between right and wrong, good and best.

Bible in One Year: Isaiah 4-7

 

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Our Daily Bread — Watchful Care

 

Read: Jeremiah 23:20–24 | Bible in a Year: Psalms 33–34; Acts 24

“Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 23:24

Before he raced out the door to school, I asked my son if he had brushed his teeth. Asking again, I reminded him of the importance of telling the truth. Unmoved by my gentle admonishment, he half-jokingly informed me that what I really needed was a security camera in the bathroom. Then I could check for myself if he had brushed his teeth and he wouldn’t be tempted to lie.

While the presence of a security camera may help remind us to follow the rules, there are still places we can go unnoticed or ways we can avoid being seen. Although we may evade or trick a security camera, we fool ourselves if we think we are ever outside the gaze of God.

God asks, “Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” (Jeremiah 23:24). There is both an encouragement and a warning in His question.

The warning is that we cannot hide from God. We can’t outrun or fool Him. Everything we do is visible to Him.

The encouragement is that there is no place on earth or in the heavens where we are outside the watchful care of our heavenly Father. Even when we feel alone, God is with us. No matter where we go today, may the awareness of that truth encourage us to choose obedience to His Word and receive comfort—He watches over us.

Lord Jesus, thank You that there is nowhere I can go that is outside of Your loving gaze. Knowing You see me, help me to honor You with my words and actions.

We are never outside the watchful care of our heavenly Father.

By Lisa Samra

INSIGHT

The rich theme of God’s constant care for us we see in today’s text is also seen in the psalms. David, threatened by powerful enemies, found great comfort and strength in knowing that God knew everything about him (Psalm 139:1–6). He marveled that the omniscient, omnipotent God was always present with him. Acknowledging there was no place where he was outside of God’s provision and protection, David affirmed: “I can never get away from your presence!” (v. 7 nlt). When we realize the all-powerful God—who knows all about us—is constantly with us, it will impact how we live (vv. 23–24). The writer of Hebrews says, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (4:13). Therefore, let’s be quick to run to Him for refuge for “the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).

Are you hemmed in by life’s trials and troubles? Refresh yourself with knowing that God knows and He cares.

 

  1. T. Sim

 

 

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Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Questions of Power

A story told in the Hebrew scriptures offers a dramatic interplay of manipulation and honor, kings and kingdoms, power and powerlessness. It is the story more commonly known as “Daniel and the Lion’s Den.” But this title, accurate though it is in terms of the dramatic climax, actually misses the main actors entirely. Ultimately, the story is a depiction of power and weakness at play in two very different kingdoms and communities. On one side stands Darius, the mighty king and ruler of the people and nations, powerful sovereign of the powerful majority. On the other side is the God of Daniel, king of a community in exile, the ruler of a minority people whose city lies in ruins. The question of sovereignty seems as though it has already been answered quite definitively.

Most of us are not familiar with the devastating encounter of the powerlessness of exile and the forcible display of the powers that created it. Nonetheless, every aspect of our lives is touched by issues of power and weakness. The question of control and power is common to our relationships, communities, politics, business, education, and religion. Unfortunately, our common experience of the struggle is not to say we are well or healthily adjusted to it, far from it. Of course, it is easiest for those who actually hold any given power to be the most unaware of the dynamics of powerlessness upon others. For others, the struggle to be in control, to challenge authority, to make a name for ourselves, is largely thought of as a dynamic that is outgrown with adulthood. So in the face of authority issues, we say things like, “Teenagers will be teenagers!” Or we diagnose the battle to be in control as “middle child syndrome” or “terrible twos,” all the while failing to see our own struggle with similar dynamics. Still for others, questions of power involve wondering if they will ever have a voice, if anyone with power is listening, or if they have been forgotten and silenced indefinitely. Admittedly, to be conscious of the struggle is far better than being complacent about the question of power in general.

The story told in Daniel 6 begins significantly with a king who is for all practical purposes very much in control. Daniel, a Hebrew slave in exile, is found by king Darius to be distinguished in a way the king believes he can make use of and Daniel is given a position of authority in the kingdom for the sake of the king. But as the story moves forward, we see king Darius played like a pawn and Daniel is found guilty by the law of the land. To his utter dismay, king Darius finds himself bound by the law that his own lips decreed. Darius is the most powerful king in the world, and yet he is powerless beside his own decree, powerless to save his trusted servant. Whether Darius himself sees the irony in his power and position, we are left to wonder.

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Joyce Meyer – Count Your Blessings

 

Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name. — Hebrews 13:15 (AMPC)

Adapted from the resource My Time with God Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

Recently I have been writing down 10 things each day that I am thankful for, and each day I try to make them something different. I am literally counting my blessings, and it has been a fun project.

It is amazing how many things we can begin to take for granted unless we purpose to remember how blessed we are. By looking for 10 different things each day, I have gone beyond the things I would normally think of, and have been pleasantly surprised by all the things I have realized are blessings in my life that I certainly would not want to do without—even things like the smell of a good candle or hot and cold running water.

Let’s be aggressive in offering God the fruit of lips thankfully praising Him!

Prayer Starter: Father, help me realize how much I have to be thankful for. Thank You for reminding me to be thankful!

 

 

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Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – We are His Friends

 

“And since, when we were his enemies, we were brought back to God by the death of His Son, what a blessing He must have for us now that we are His friends, and He is living within us!” (Romans 5:10).

Marilyn had a very poor self-image. She hated the way she looked and felt that her personality was so bad that she could never expect to have true friends. She was concerned especially about marriage. How could she ever find a man to love her since she was so unattractive (in her thinking).

I was able to help her see how much God loved her, and how great was His blessing for her as a child of God. The supernatural life-style was available to her, and she was the one to determine whether or not she would measure up, as an act of the will by faith, to what God had called and enabled her to be. Her part was simply to trust and obey Him.

With God’s help, she determined to be that kind of person, the kind of person God created her to be.

We who are Christians can see ourselves as God sees us and through the enabling of the Holy Spirit become what we are in His sight. With the eyes of love, He sees us covered with the blood of Christ, which was shed on the cross for our sins, and, as expressed in Hebrews 10, He sees us as holy, righteous and totally forgiven. He holds nothing against us. The penalty for our sins has been paid – once and for all. There is nothing which we can add.

Now we have the privilege of becoming in our experience what we are already in God’s sight.

Bible Reading:Romans 5:11-15

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Through the enabling of the Holy Spirit, I will begin to see myself as God sees me: loved, forgiven, holy, righteous, spiritually mature, aggressive and fruitful for the glory of God. Today I will live by faith the supernatural life which is my heritage in Christ

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Big Things With Small Deeds

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Do we need a reminder today of the largeness of Jesus’ story? Do terms like “sin,” “salvation,” and “redemption” stand a chance in this sophisticated day of humanism and relativism? Well, apparently they do! After all, where are the Romans who crucified Christ and the great temples of Corinth that dwarfed the infant church? Do worshipers still sacrifice to Zeus?  No, but they still sing to Jesus.

Do you wonder if your work makes a difference?  Against a towering giant, a brook pebble seems futile. But God used it to topple Goliath. In God’s hands, small seeds grow into sheltering trees.  He cures the common life by giving no common life and by offering no common gifts. Don’t discount the smallness of your deeds!

Read more Cure for the Common Life

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

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Denison Forum – Boy or girl? Parents raising “theybies”

Zyler and Kadyn Sharpe are three-year-old fraternal twins living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Which is a boy, and which is a girl? According to their parents, that’s a question only the children can decide.

Nate and Julia Sharpe have kept their children’s biological sex a secret from their birth. They have not taught them to associate their body parts with being a boy or a girl. They are going to allow their children to determine their gender. Such children are known as “theybies.”

Other parents are making the opposite decision.

Model Chrissy Teigen and her husband, singer John Legend, made headlines when they announced that they had selected the sex of their unborn child. They used in vitro fertilization to become pregnant. This process creates embryos in the laboratory which are then implanted in the mother’s womb. Teigen and Legend asked doctors to select a female embryo for her to carry to term.

In related news, “sex-selective abortion” is now common around the world. When a couple learns that their unborn child is not the gender they wanted, they have the baby aborted. According to Newsweek, such abortions “are rife in the U.S.”

“You will be like God”

Letting a child choose his or her gender, choosing a child based on gender, and aborting a child based on gender are all symptoms of an underlying condition. At their heart, they succumb to the temptation, “You will be like God” (Genesis 3:5).

Continue reading Denison Forum – Boy or girl? Parents raising “theybies”