Charles Stanley – A River of Living Water

 

John 7:37-39

If you’ve ever lived in a desert or experienced a long-term drought, you understand how essential water is. Without it, plants dry up, crops fail, animals languish with thirst, and before long the ground cracks and dust starts to blow. Sometimes, this is how life feels, too—dry, fruitless, unsatisfying, and futile.

But this should not be the case for believers. Even if the externals of life resemble a drought, inside we have the ever-flowing living water of the Holy Spirit. Of all the word pictures employed in the Bible to depict the Spirit, a river of living water ranks among the most powerful. He is seen as the source of vitality and abundance in our lives. Like a continually moving stream, He flows through us, performing His sanctifying work of transforming us into the image of Christ.

Getting to know the Spirit is a lifelong process. As we walk in obedience to Him, we experience both His quiet guidance through life’s challenges and His power displayed in our weakness. We marvel when He brings to light a passage of Scripture and find solace in His comfort when we’re hurting. His convictions guide us to repentance so we can be cleansed with living water. And His promptings and warnings keep us from heading down the wrong path.

Because the life-giving Spirit dwells within us, no Christian has to live a dry, fruitless life. Of course, if we opt to live as we please and indulge in sin, we’ll quench Him. But the more we learn of Him in Scripture and walk with Him in obedience, the more His life will flow through us.

Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 13-16

 

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Our Daily Bread — Call for Help

 

Read: Acts 2:14–21 | Bible in a Year: Psalms 132–134; 1 Corinthians 11:17–34

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Acts 2:21

After five deaths and fifty-one injuries in elevator accidents in 2016, New York City launched an ad campaign to educate people on how to stay calm and be safe. The worst cases were people who tried to save themselves when something went wrong. The best plan of action, authorities say, is simply, “Ring, relax, and wait.” New York building authorities made a commitment to respond promptly to protect people from injury and extract them from their predicament.

In the book of Acts, Peter preached a sermon that addressed the error of trying to save ourselves. Luke, who wrote the book, records some remarkable events in which believers in Christ were speaking in languages they did not know (Acts 2:1–12). Peter got up to explain to his Jewish brothers and sisters that what they were witnessing was the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy (Joel 2:28–32)—the outpouring of the Spirit and a day of salvation. The blessing of the Holy Spirit was now visibly seen in those who called on Jesus for rescue from sin and its effects. Then Peter told them how this salvation is available for anyone (v. 21). Our access to God comes not through keeping the Law but through trusting Jesus as Lord and Messiah.

If we are trapped in sin, we cannot save ourselves. Our only hope for being rescued is acknowledging and trusting Jesus as Lord and Messiah.

Have you called on Jesus to rescue you from your sin?

 

Rescue comes to those who call on Jesus for help.

 

By Marvin Williams

INSIGHT

Luke records the coming of the Holy Spirit in wonderfully descriptive language. For the disciples, the entire three years of walking with Jesus would have been astounding, but the last two months prior to the day of Pentecost would have been especially intense: the trial, the crucifixion, hiding in fear, the resurrection, the ascension. And it all led to the coming of the Holy Spirit and the proclamation of the gospel. Luke doesn’t record the reactions of the disciples, but imagine being in their sandals. As you are together with your closest friends, you hear the sound of wind—inside the house! What appears to be fire descends on you. Even with everything you have seen, the temptation to flinch would have been great. God’s presence was both terrifying and empowering. But it’s this fire that sparks the first gospel message, the message of salvation in Jesus.

J.R. Hudberg

 

 

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Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Why Have Charity

It was a scene made for good people-watching. Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were placed and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury.(1) There were some who made a spectacle of their giving. Others gave in guilt or joy or obligation. Many rich people threw in large amounts. A poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. The motives of giving are as many as the people who give.

In a Wall Street Journal article titled “Charitable Explanation,” Arthur Brooks examined giving in the United States and its patterns through storm and season. In the month of December, for instance, as much as a third of the quarter-trillion dollars Americans give away each year is collected. Eighty-five million Americans participate.

Even so, giving is not a collective national trait. “While 85 million American households give away money each year to nonprofit organizations,” notes Brooks “another 30 million do not.”(2) There is a Giving America and Non-Giving America, he says. And what distinguishes them is not income. In fact, he reports, “America’s working poor give away at least as large a percentage of their incomes as the rich, and a lot more than the middle class. The charity gap is driven not by economics but by values.” Giving is apparently a matter of perspective, and this is true from America to Australia to Asia.

In the middle of his people-watching at the temple treasury, Jesus called his disciples to the scene in front him: a widow had dropped in two copper coins as she passed by the treasury, and it caught the eye of the teacher. Sandwiched between the generous gifts of the affluent, her coins would perhaps not have drawn the attention of anyone else. But Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” (3)

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Why Have Charity

Joyce Meyer – God Gives Us All We Need

 

And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. — Psalm 9:10

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

In His Word God has given us the tools we need to help us through each new day. He has given us “the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (Isaiah 61:3 KJV). So, when you wake up in the morning, decide that no matter what happens, you will not be depressed today.

Put on the garment of praise first thing in the morning. Listen to worshipful music, read the Word, and renew your thoughts to bring them into line with what God says you are—righteous and blessed. You can think right, talk right, and act right all day if you spend time with God before trials come your way.

Prayer Starter: Father, I come to You today for my strength and help. You are my Source for everything, and I thank and praise You for Your goodness. I ask for Your grace to have a great day and honor You in the midst of it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Power Over Nations

 

“To everyone who overcomes – who to the very end keeps on doing things that please Me – I will give power over the nations. You will rule them with a rod of iron just as My Father gave Me the authority to rule them; they will be shattered like a pot of clay that is broken into tiny pieces. And I will give you the Morning Star!” (Revelation 2:26-28).

I marvel at the numerous promises made to the overcomer, the one “who to the very end keeps on doing things that please Me.” Now we are even promised power over the nations, as we rule and reign with our heavenly Father in that coming day.

As I ponder this verse, I see in a very few words the key to the entire Christian life – the one thing alone that will keep us victorious today, tomorrow, and throughout our lives. Again, it is that significant clause: “who to the very end keeps on doing things that please Me.”

Lest you think that is an over simplification of the victorious Christian life, can you think of anything else God requires of us? And He even provides His Holy Spirit as an indwelling reminder of the daily victory He makes possible. This is the supernatural life. Earlier, we are told of a conquering Christ who will rule the nations of the earth with a rod of iron. This promise tells us that Christ will turn this power over to the conqueror – the overcomer – and his victorious companions in death.

Bible Reading:Psalm 2:1-12

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will trust the Lord to make being an overcomer a reality for me as a way of life – by the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Jesus is Praying for You

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Have you ever have anyone stand up for you?  The answer is yes.  Jesus stands at this very moment, offering intercession on your behalf! Jesus says to you what he said to Peter. Knowing the apostle was about to be severely tested by Satan, Jesus assured him, “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail” (Luke 22:32).

Jesus promises to pray and stand up for you. When we forget to pray, he remembers to pray. When we are full of doubt, he is full of faith. Where we are unworthy to be heard, he is ever worthy to be heard. We’d prefer to have every question answered, but Jesus has instead chosen to tell us this much: “I will pray you through the storm.” Are the prayers of Jesus answered? Of course they are! And because God’s promises are unbreakable our hope is unshakable!

Read more Unshakable Hope

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

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Denison Forum – The transforming faith of John McCain

America will bid one of its great heroes farewell this weekend.

John McCain’s body lies in state inside the US Capitol Rotunda today, where his Senate colleagues and staff will conduct a memorial service at 11 a.m. The public can then pay their respects from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Tomorrow, a televised funeral service in the Washington National Cathedral will begin at 10 a.m. On Sunday, his body will be laid to rest in a private ceremony at the US Naval Academy.

Much will be said about McCain’s heroism as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, his lifelong commitment to serving the nation he loved, and his passionate devotion to his family and friends. Longtime colleagues in Washington will tell personal stories and pay tribute to his life and legacy.

One dimension of John McCain’s life that has not received as much media attention is his personal faith in Jesus.

“It means I’m saved and forgiven”

McCain attended an Episcopal high school in Virginia, where he participated in chapel each morning and on Sunday evenings. There he began reading Scripture and learned to quote from God’s word at great length.

However, his faith became personal when his plane was shot down over Hanoi and he spent the next five and a half years as a prisoner of war, two of them in solitary confinement. He has written that during that time he prayed “more often and more fervently than I ever had as a free man.”

Continue reading Denison Forum – The transforming faith of John McCain

Charles Stanley – Our Incomparable Companion

 

John 14:15-17

Having a faithful friend is one of God’s greatest blessings. No matter what’s going on in your life, you can count on that person to stick with you. However, there is no guarantee that you won’t lose that friend. Unavoidable circumstances like relocation, illness, or death may take your companion away, but if you are a Christian, you have a friend who will never leave you.

He’s the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus called the Helper. He’s no fair-weather friend, slipping in and out of our lives when it’s to His advantage. When He takes up residence within us, He comes to stay forever (John 14:16).

In most human relationships, we try to avoid the use of sweeping negative or positive statements such as, “You are always late,” or “You are always there for me.” However, such superlative declarations are completely fitting when applied to the Holy Spirit. Listen to how the Lord Jesus described Him:

  • “He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you” (John 14:26).
    • “He will testify about Me” (John 15:26).
    • “He will guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13).
    • “All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you” (John 16:15).

Throughout the New Testament epistles, we find even more descriptions of this marvelous companion. His ministry in our lives is varied, and His accomplishments in and through us are many. How wealthy we are to have the Holy Spirit. He is a friend who truly sticks closer than a brother!

Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 10-12

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — The House on the Rock

 

Read: Luke 6:46–49 | Bible in a Year: Psalms 129–131; 1 Corinthians 11:1–16

When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. Luke 6:48

After living in their house for several years, my friends realized that their living room was sinking—cracks appeared on the walls and a window would no longer open. They learned that this room had been added without a foundation. Rectifying the shoddy workmanship would mean months of work as builders laid a new foundation.

They had the work done, and when I visited them afterwards, I couldn’t see much difference (although the cracks were gone and now the window opened). But I understood that a solid foundation matters.

This is true in our lives as well.

Jesus shared a parable about wise and foolish builders to illustrate the folly of not listening to Him (Luke 6:46–49). Those who hear and obey His words are like the person who builds a house on a firm foundation, unlike those who hear but ignore His words. Jesus assured His listeners that when the storms come, their house would stand. Their faith would not be shaken.

We can find peace knowing that as we listen to and obey Jesus, He forms a strong foundation for our lives. We can strengthen our love for Him through reading the Bible, praying, and learning from other Christians. Then when we face the torrents of rain lashing against us—whether betrayal, pain, or disappointment—we can trust that our foundation is solid. Our Savior will provide the support we need.

Lord God, I want to build my house on a rock. Help me to know that my solid foundation rests in You, with Your Word giving me wisdom and strength.

Hearing and obeying Jesus gives our lives a strong foundation.

By Amy Boucher Pye

INSIGHT

In the parable about the wise and foolish builders, Jesus isn’t teaching that we can be saved by our good works. Rather, because we are saved, we will do good works—we will obey God’s Word. The apostle Paul, using the same metaphor of a solid foundation, makes it clear that “no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:11). Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done.

We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. But, as theologian John Calvin reminded us, “We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone” (see Ephesians 2:10; Titus 2:14; 3:8, 14).

How have you, through the power of the Holy Spirit, been building on the solid foundation we have in Jesus?

  1. T. Sim

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Where God Was Homeless

Some years ago, we were spending Christmas in the home of my wife’s parents. It was not a happy day in the household. Much had gone wrong during the preceding weeks, and a weight of sadness hung over the home. Yet, in the midst of all that, my mother-in-law kept her routine habit of asking people who would likely have no place to go at Christmas to share Christmas dinner with us.

That year she invited a man who was, by everyone’s estimate, somewhat of an odd person, quite eccentric in his demeanor. Not much was known about him at the church except that he came regularly, sat alone, and left without much conversation. He obviously lived alone and was quite a sorry-looking, solitary figure. He was our Christmas guest.

Because of other happenings in the house (not the least of which was that one daughter was taken to the hospital for the birth of her first child), everything was in confusion. All of our emotions were on edge. It fell upon me, in turn, to entertain this gentleman. I must confess that I did not appreciate it. Owing to a heavy life of travel year-round, I have jealously guarded my Christmases as time to be with my family. This was not going to be such a privilege, and I was not happy. As I sat in the living room, entertaining him while others were busy, I thought to myself, “This is going to go down as one of the most miserable Christmases of my life.”

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Where God Was Homeless

Joyce Meyer – The God-Shaped Hole Inside You

 

As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness. — Psalm 17:15

Adapted from the resource Power Thoughts Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

There is a God-shaped hole inside every one of us, and even if we had all the money in the world, there is nothing to be bought that could fill it. The only thing that is going to fill that craving is God Himself.

Seek God as your first and most vital necessity in life. Put Him first in your time, thoughts, conversation, and actions. Love Him with all of your heart and talk to Him throughout the day about everything that takes place in your life.

As you include Him in all that you do, you will develop an intimacy with Him that will satisfy your soul like nothing else in the world can do.

Prayer Starter: Lord, give me a greater hunger for You. Help me to put You first in my life and require You as a vital necessity. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Protection From Accidents

 

“The good man does not escape all troubles – he has them too. But the Lord helps him in each and every one. God even protects him from accidents” (Psalm 34:19,20).

Jerry was a new Christian and for the first time was hearing about the importance of the Spirit-filled life. His was a logical question, put to me following one of my lectures on a large university campus.

“Does the Spirit-filled Christian have problems, testings, temptations like the non-believer and the disobedient Christian?” he asked.

“No,” I replied, “the Spirit-filled Christian does not have the same kind of problems that the non-believer and the carnal Christian have, because most of the problems we experience in life are self-imposed. The Spirit-filled person is one who seeks to do the will of God and lives by faith drawing upon the supernatural resources of God the Holy Spirit for every attitude, motive and desire of his life.”

There may be many problems, such as loss of loved ones, financial reverses, illness and disappointments. The Spirit- filled Christian does not escape all troubles. But the Lord is always there with him, undergirding, helping, inspiring, motivating, encouraging, imparting to him wisdom – physical, mental and spiritual resources. Even when tragedy, heartache, sorrow and disappointment come, the Spirit-filled person knows that God is still in control.

Therefore, by faith and obedience to the command of 1 Thessalonians 5:18, he can say, “In all things I give thanks.”

We can know that God helps us in each and every trouble and that He even protects us from accidents.

Bible Reading:Psalm 35:1-9

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today I will look for opportunities to remind myself and my friends that our loving God and Father is working in and through every problem we face each day, so that we might mature and become more like our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – God Understands You

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Jesus was undiluted deity. No wonder no one argued when he declared, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). He has authority over everything. And he has it forever! Yet in spite of this lofty position, Jesus was willing for a time to forgo the privileges of divinity and enter humanity.

Are you troubled in spirit?  He was too. (John 12:27)

Are you so anxious you could die?  He was too. (Matthew 26:38)

Are you overwhelmed with grief?  He was too. (John 11:35)

So human he could touch people. So mighty he could heal people. So heavenly he spoke with authority. So human he could blend in unnoticed for thirty years. So mighty he could change history and be unforgotten for two thousand years. Because Jesus was human, He understands you. And because God’s promises are unbreakable our hope is unshakable!

Read more Unshakable Hope

 

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

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Denison Forum – Wife of pastor who committed suicide posts message to him

Andrew Stoecklein was married to Kayla and father of their three small boys. He was also pastor of a thriving megachurch in California.

Last Saturday, he took his own life.

His wife has now posted a remarkable tribute to her husband. I hope you’ll read it in its entirety. She closes: “Until we meet again I will cling to my Father in heaven. He will carry me through every second, every minute, every hour of every day.” She continues to say of God, “He has got this.”

Why do you need to trust your Father’s sovereignty today?

A message from a 120-year-old chapel

I was walking in our neighborhood recently and passed a wooden chapel built in the 1890s. A nearby cemetery houses the remains of Civil War veterans. Over the chapel stood the moon, estimated by scientists to be 4.53 billion years old. In front of me was the morning sunrise.

This thought occurred to me: God is sovereign over all of this.

He was sovereign when this chapel was constructed 120 years ago. It witnessed World War I, in which my grandfather fought and during which his family despaired of his life. It witnessed World War II, in which my father fought and during which his family despaired of his life.

It witnessed the Cold War, during which I participated as a child in bomb drills in case we were attacked. It witnessed the Vietnam War, during which I had friends whose brothers fought in the jungles of Southeast Asia.

It witnessed 9/11, the most horrific terror attack in American history. It witnessed the Great Depression and the Great Recession. During each period of great calamity, Christians came to worship in that wooden chapel in the belief that their God was sovereign. And they were right.

Continue reading Denison Forum – Wife of pastor who committed suicide posts message to him

Charles Stanley – The Practices of Maturity

 

Hebrews 5:12-14

Believers are on a continual growth track that ascends higher and higher. This side of heaven, none of us ever “arrive,” but we each have a responsibility to press on to maturity. Though many people think those who know a lot about the Bible are the spiritually mature ones, Hebrews 5:14 adds the element of practice to the growth equation. This word means a custom or habit. Christian growth requires the discipline of godly habits carried out daily.

The most important practice to cultivate is a personal devotional time. Since God is the source of all spiritual development, you can’t neglect Him and expect to become mature. Transformation begins with time in His Word and prayer.

Obedience is another essential element for advancement. When our desire to obey the Lord is stronger than our attraction to sin, we’ll know we are making progress in our spiritual life.

In terms of physical development, the goal is to become more independent and self-sufficient as we age. But in the spiritual realm, the opposite is true. Those who are mature in Christ recognize their own inadequacy and rely on the Holy Spirit within them. It’s His job to transform our character and empower us to accomplish everything the Lord calls us to do.

In God’s eyes, maturity isn’t the same as getting older. By digging into Scripture and developing God-pleasing habits, we can use our years to grow stronger in the Lord instead of wasting time with passivity. No one becomes mature accidentally. Spiritual growth requires a diligent pursuit of God.

Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 7-9

 

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Our Daily Bread — You Love Me?

 

Read: Malachi 1:1–5 | Bible in a Year: Psalms 126–128; 1 Corinthians 10:19–33

How have you loved us? Malachi 1:2

As a teenager, I went through the typical season of rebellion against my mother’s authority. My father died before I entered adolescence, so my mom had to navigate these turbulent parenting waters without his help.

I recall thinking that Mom didn’t want me to ever have any fun—and maybe didn’t even love me—because she frequently said no. I see now that she said no to activities that weren’t good for me precisely because she loves me.

The Israelites questioned how much God loved them because of their time in captivity in Babylon. But that captivity was God’s correction for their continued rebellion against Him. So now, God sent the prophet Malachi to them. His opening words from the Lord were, “I have loved you” (Malachi 1:2). Israel replied skeptically, inquiring as to how God has loved them, as if to say, “Really?” But God, through Malachi, reminded them of the way He had demonstrated that love: He had chosen them over the Edomites.

We all go through difficult seasons in life. We may be tempted to question God’s love for us during those times. Let’s recall the many ways He’s shown us His unfailing love. When we stop to consider His goodness, we find that He is indeed a loving Father.

Lord, You have shown tender care for me over the course of my life. You’ve been present with me in difficult seasons. Help me to always remember Your love.

Our heavenly Father corrects us and comforts us.

By Kirsten Holmberg

INSIGHT

Malachi, though a short book, is a very important one. Malachi ministered as the last prophet sent to the remnant that had returned to Jerusalem from the Babylonian captivity. The prophet’s central theme is the coming of the Messiah. The prophet preaches about God’s righteous judgment as well as His love. It’s only in the overwhelming sacrifice of the Messiah, His victory over death, and coming back to earth to make all things right, that the love of God can be fully understood.

The unmerited offer of redeeming grace made known through Jesus Christ is the central theme of the Bible. Certainly our Lord’s life and ministry are a marvelous picture of God’s declaration “I have loved you” (1:2).

Why not take a few minutes to prayerfully reflect on Christ coming to redeem you and the future hope of His coming again.

Dennis Fisher

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Into the Story

 

Science fiction novelist Kurt Vonnegut once said of one of his most recurrent characters, “Trout was the only character I ever created who had enough imagination to suspect that he might be the creation of another human being. He had spoken of this possibility several times to his parakeet. He had said, for instance, ‘Honest to God, Bill, the way things are going, all I can think of is that I’m a character in a book by somebody who wants to write about somebody who suffers all the time.”(1) In this scene from the book Breakfast of Champions, Kilgore Trout’s haunting suspicion is unveiled before him. Sitting content at a bar, Kilgore is suddenly overwhelmed by someone or something that has entered the room. Beginning to sweat, he becomes uncomfortably aware of a presence disturbingly greater than himself.

The author himself, Kurt Vonnegut, has stepped beyond the role of narrator and into the book itself, and the effect is as bizarre for Kilgore as it is for the readers. When the author of the book steps into the novel, fiction is lost within a new reality. Kilgore senses the world as he knows it collapsing. In fact, this was the author’s intent. Vonnegut has placed himself in Kilgore’s world for no other reason than to explain the meaninglessness of Kilgore’s life. He came to explain to Kilgore face to face that the very tiresome life he has led was, in fact, all due to the pen and whims of an author who made it all up for his own sake. In this twisted ending, no doubt illustrative of Vonnegut’s own humanism, Kilgore is forced to conclude that apart from the imagination of the author he does not actually exist. Ironically, he also must come to terms with the fact that it is because of the author that his very existence has been ridiculous.

The testifying voices of the gospel tell a story that is perhaps as fantastic as Vonnegut’s tale, though one with consequences in stark contrast. The Gospel of John, too, begins with a story that is interrupted by the presence of the author: “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and that life was the light of all people… And the word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a Father’s only son, full of grace and truth… From his fullness we have all received grace upon grace.”(2) The word became one of us and moved into the neighborhood. But in this story, the presence of the author is not our demise but our inherent good.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Into the Story

Joyce Meyer – Our Number One Goal in Life

 

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. — Romans 8:29

Adapted from the resource New Day, New You Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

Our number one goal in life as Christians should be Christlikeness. Jesus is the express image of the Father, and we are to follow in His footsteps. He came as the pioneer of our faith to show us by example how we should live and conduct ourselves. We should seek to behave with people the way Jesus did.

Our goal is not to see how successful we can be in business or how famous we can be. It is not prosperity, popularity, or even building a big ministry, but to be Christ-like.

The world doesn’t only need a sermon preached to them; they also need to see actions backing up what we say we believe as Christians. Our lives should make other people hungry and thirsty for what we have in Christ. The Bible refers to us as salt, which makes people thirsty, and light, which exposes darkness.

Many Christians have bumper stickers on their cars, or they wear some kind of jewelry that indicates they are believers in Jesus Christ. The world is not impressed by our bumper stickers and Christian jewelry; they want to see fruit of godly behavior. They want to see people who claim to be Christians living what they preach, not just preaching to others while it doesn’t seem to be working in their own lives.

Prayer Starter: Lord, help me today to be a good witness for You and truly show people what You are like. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – No Abuse Tolerated

 

“So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him” (Isaiah 59:19, KJV).

A prominent secular columnist and a businessman were united in their efforts to destroy a well-known godly Christian leader. It seemed that they would stoop to whatever mischief was necessary to accomplish their goal: Discredit this man of God.

One day they were warned of the danger of attacking God’s anointed. They were shown that they were not simply attacking an individual, but they were actually tempting God, because this man was His servant and it was God’s responsibility to take care of him. The warning was given in these words, “If I were you, I’d be petrified with fear because you are not attacking a man, but a servant of God. I’d be afraid of what God would do to me to punish me if I were guilty of doing what you are doing.”

They laughed at such a warning, but only a few hours later one of them was killed in a tragic accident. The other was very sobered by this dramatic demonstration of how God protects His own.

I agree with the man who gave the warning. In fact, I would hate to be a critic or an enemy, not just of a godly Christian leader, but of any child of God who seeks to live a holy life because that individual can be assured that God will fight for Him. Whenever a person who desires to please the Lord with all of his attitudes and actions and desires and motives is attacked, the Spirit of the Lord will raise up a standard against the adversary.

If you are a man or woman of God, I would be scared to death to criticize you, or to find fault with you, or to attack you in any way. All who belong to the Lord Jesus Christ have been purchased with His own precious blood, and he will not tolerate the abuse of His blood-purchased followers.

Bible Reading:Isaiah 59:16-21

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: With God’s help, I will guard my tongue, my attitudes and actions concerning other believers, following the admonition, “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1). I will seek to love all men as an expression of the supernatural life-style.

 

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Max Lucado – Mercy and Grace

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

You and I have stumbled in life.  We’ve done our best, only to trip and fall.  The distance between where we are and where we want to be is impassable. Where do we turn? I suggest we look to one of God’s sweetest promises:

“For our high priest [Jesus] is able to understand our weaknesses.  He was tempted in every way that we are, but he did not sin.  Let us, then, feel very sure that we can come before God’s throne where there is grace.  There we can receive mercy and grace to help us when we need it”  (Hebrews 4:15-16).

When we stumble we aren’t abandoned. The stunning idea is simply this: God, for a time, became one of us.  God became flesh in the form of Jesus Christ.  Neither his humanity nor deity were compromised.  Because God’s promises are unbreakable our hope is unshakable!

Read more Unshakable Hope

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

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