Charles Stanley – An Anchor Full of Promises

 

Psalm 57:1-3

Yesterday we looked at the anchor as a symbol of God’s unchanging Word. We know that sailors use this device to keep a vessel from drifting and also to protect it during storms. So how does the Bible help us in stormy times?

The Word of God …

Comforts us. It tells us that our Father will give us peace and rest when we go through trouble and carry heavy burdens. Many of the psalms were written out of David’s own experiences of receiving comfort and strength from God during storms in his life, and they are a great place to start.

Reminds us that God is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. Not only does the Lord know exactly where we are in our storm and what we’re going through, but He’s also with us in the middle of it. In fact, He has the ability to calm the storm, though He most often uses His power to bring us safely through it.

Guides us. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” The psalmist assures us that the Bible shines a light as we walk, enabling us to safely move forward, step-by-step, in the right direction.

We must remember it’s not enough for a boat to simply have an anchor; in order to do any good, the anchor must be utilized. Similarly, it’s not enough to own a Bible and know, in theory, that it is full of promises. God’s Word can be effective in our life only if we read, meditate, believe, apply, and obey it. Then the anchor works every single time. We may be shaken—even a little beaten up at times—but we will ride out the storm and sail on!

Bible in One Year: Isaiah 15-18

 

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Our Daily Bread — Unselfish Service

 

Read: Isaiah 58:6–12 | Bible in a Year: Psalms 40–42; Acts 27:1–26

If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness. Isaiah 58:10

A small collection of people stood together, dwarfed by the size of the huge tree lying on the lawn. An elderly woman leaned on her cane and described watching the previous night’s windstorm as it blew down “our majestic old elm tree. Worst of all,” she continued, voice cracking with emotion, “it destroyed our lovely stone wall too. My husband built that wall when we were first married. He loved that wall. I loved that wall! Now it’s gone; just like him.”

Next morning, as she peeked out at the tree company workers cleaning up the downed tree; a big smile spread across her face. In between the branches she could just make out two adults and the boy who mowed her lawn carefully measuring and rebuilding her beloved stone wall!

The prophet Isaiah describes the kind of service God favors: acts that lift the hearts of those around us, like the wall repairers did for the elderly woman. This passage teaches that God values unselfish service to others over empty spiritual rituals. In fact, God exercises a two-way blessing on the selfless service of His children. First, God uses our willing acts of service to aid the oppressed and needy (Isaiah 58:7–10). Then God honors those engaged in such service by building or rebuilding our reputations as powerful positive forces in His kingdom (vv. 11–12). What service will you offer this day?

Thank You, Father, for the acts of others You use to lift us up, and for calling us to do the same.

Selfless service to others brings honor to God.

By Randy Kilgore | See Other Authors

INSIGHT

Am I my brother’s keeper? We might wonder something similar when we hear Isaiah urging his people to reach out to a world of hurting people. But another story is working in the background. God’s people were trying to avoid responsibility for the wrongs they were doing to their own flesh and blood (Isaiah 58:7).

Can you think of anything you are doing, or not doing, to those around you that is making their life difficult? Can you think of ways to unselfishly serve them?

Mart DeHaan

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Misdiagnosing ‘Normal’

Almost everyday, we are beset with news of daily atrocities, murders, and tragedies that continue to shake us. I sit in a somewhat curious state as I hear certain phrases so often repeated. “They seemed like such a normal person.” “My kids played at his/her house regularly.” Then the reporter chimes in, “How could such an ordinary person do such a thing?”

I guess what intrigues me in this constant replay from daily and weekly life is the surprise. The reporters genuinely seem surprised by the actions committed and in joining in with the social narrative’s rules, so do we! Many \centuries ago, the ancient writer Herodotus wrote, “The most hateful torment for men is to have knowledge of everything but power over nothing.” This is perceptive.

The modern era was birthed in the consciousness of rational men and women in control of their own destinies. It was the age of reason; we can and would figure everything out. It was the age of man; no need for god, the gods, or superstitions of any kind. It was the age of science; the new insights, techniques, and technologies would allow us to build our brave new world. It was the age of progress, as many believed we would grow from good to great, and perhaps end up in something like Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek future, where all need has been eradicated and all live for justice and the good of all.

The problem with this, and with all utopian dreams, is that they are illusions or delusions. They are fantasy constructs of the very sort Schopenhauer and Freud attacked in terms of religion. Despite promethean promises, guru advice, or our deepest sincere desires, wanting it badly enough does not make it so. What kind of a world do we live in? Who and what are we? What is wrong in life and with me? How can anything be improved? These are world and life view questions.

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Joyce Meyer – God Will Change You

 

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. — Proverbs 19:21

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

Even though you may still be operating in old habits, you still have hope of change, but you can’t change yourself. God will change you, if you seek Him with your whole heart.

Don’t be in a hurry for God to finish working in your life. We want everything to be done instantly, but God is not interested in our schedule. The enemy may thwart your plans, but God’s plans don’t get thwarted, and He has a unique plan for you.

Seek God’s plan for your life. Stay on fire, red hot, zealous. Pursue His purpose for you with every ounce of energy you have. There is nothing in this world that is worth seeking more.

Prayer Starter: Father, help me to not give up on myself. You are my Source of change. Help me to earnestly seek You in every season of life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Promise of the Spirit

 

“And Peter replied, ‘Each one of you must turn from sin, return to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; then you also shall receive this gift, the Holy Spirit. For Christ promised Him to each one of you who has been called by the Lord our God and to your children and even those in distant lands!'” (Acts 2:38- 39).

The most important truth that I or anyone else could share with Christians is to help them understand the person and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. My own life was dramatically transformed when by faith I claimed the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit.

“One day in New York – what a day!” declared Dwight L. Moody. “I can’t describe it. I seldom refer to it. It is almost too sacred for me to name. I can only say that God revealed Himself to me. I had such an experience of love that I had to ask Him to stay His hand.

“I went to preaching again. The sermons were no different. I did not present any new truth. Yet hundreds were converted. I would not be back where I was before that blessed experience if you would give me Glasgow.”

The Holy Spirit is the key to revival. He is the key to revival because He is the key to supernatural living, and apart from living supernaturally – living in the fullness of the Holy Spirit – the believer has no power to introduce others to Christ and help fulfill the Great Commission.

The Holy Spirit is convicting many Christians of their lethargy, their coldness of heart and unbelief, the loss of their first love. A spiritual Mount St. Helens is about to erupt, spreading the good news of love and forgiveness of our Lord Jesus Christ far and wide through our land and the world. We shall see a resurgence in evangelism and a zeal unparalleled in church history as we endeavor – in the power of the Holy Spirit – to help fulfill the Great Commission.

Bible Reading:Acts 2:32-37

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I shall ask the Holy Spirit to empower and control my life so that I may be a part of a mighty spiritual awakening to help fulfill the Great Commission, beginning in my home, community and church in obedience to the Lord’s command

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Resist the Urge to Label Your Children

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

At the age of two, master pianist Van Cliburn played a song on the piano while listening to teaching in the adjacent room.  His mother noticed his skill and began giving him daily piano lessons.  The little kid from Kilgore, Texas, won the First International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow. Why? In part because a parent noticed an aptitude and helped a child develop it.

What gives your child satisfaction and pleasure?  Of course, what thrills one person bothers another. The apostle Peter liked to keep the boat steady while the apostle Paul was prone to rock it. So, resist the urge to label before you study. Attend carefully to the unique childhood of your child. What story do you read in your children? Uncommon are the parents who attempt to learn—and are blessed by their children.

Read more Cure for the Common Life

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

 

http://www.maxlucado.com

Denison Forum – Trump’s Hollywood star defaced again

Donald Trump was given a star on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame in 2007. In recent years, his star has been defaced several times.

The latest attack came yesterday morning when a man removed a pickax from a guitar case and smashed the red marble marker bearing the president’s name. Police arrested a twenty-four-year-old man named Austin Clay, who did not reveal a motive for the alleged vandalism.

In other news, a soccer player named Jaelene Hinkle was cut from Team USA before its upcoming tournament. The story is making headlines because Hinkle, a devout Christian, declined to play on the national team last year. Her reason: the US wore rainbow-colored numbers on their jerseys to celebrate Pride Month, a position her faith and conscience could not support.

On July 18, she received a call-up to the national team. LGBTQ advocates were outraged. Then she was cut five days later. Even her critics call her the best player in the league at her position. Now many are wondering if she was cut because of her religious beliefs.

In better news, US pastor Andrew Brunson has been released from prison in Turkey. However, he is still under house arrest and faces up to thirty-five years in prison.

Learning from Robert E. Lee

If you’re looking for stories about personal attacks, you can find them every day in the news. If you’re looking for the best way to respond to such hostility, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

Continue reading Denison Forum – Trump’s Hollywood star defaced again