Charles Stanley –The Struggle With Temptation

 

James 1:13-15

Of all our struggles on Earth, perhaps the most troubling and defeating is temptation. The enticements may vary, but the pressure just never seems to let up. Before we know it, a little white lie pops out of our mouth, a casual glance quickly turns into a lustful look, or an overwhelming craving renders us powerless to resist.

Temptations can arise from three sources: our human fleshly tendency to struggle with sin even after salvation; the world system around us, with its promises of satisfaction and pleasure; and the demonic forces that seek to pull us away from righteous choices. But today’s reading assures us temptations never originate with God. When we are tempted, God wants us to find Him sufficient: He will strengthen us so we can resist and follow through in obedience. Our Father doesn’t want us to fail. Rather, He desires that His children come out approved after testing.

It’s helpful to understand how temptation originates. The first step in the process is a thought. At this stage, sin has not yet taken place, but if we start to entertain the thought, then desire takes root, and we imagine the pleasures or advantages to follow. According to Matthew 5:28, it is at this point that sin has occurred: In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus expanded the interpretation of God’s law to include not only actions but also thoughts, motives, and sinful desires (see Matt 5:17-48).

The place to halt a temptation is at the first thought. God wants us to let it pass, call out to Him in prayer, and stand firm in obedience to Christ.

Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 17-19

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Officer Miglio’s Heart

 

Read: Matthew 18:1–10 | Bible in a Year: Psalms 135–136; 1 Corinthians 12

See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. Matthew 18:10

Back at the police station, Officer Miglio slumped wearily against a wall. A domestic violence call had just consumed half his shift. Its aftermath left a boyfriend in custody, a young daughter in the emergency room, and a shaken mother wondering how it had come to this. This call would wear on the young officer for a long time.

“Nothing you could do, Vic,” said his sergeant sympathetically. But the words rang hollow. Some police officers seem able to leave their work at work. Not Vic Miglio. Not the tough cases like this one.

Officer Miglio’s heart reflects the compassion of Jesus. Christ’s disciples had just come to Him with a question: “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” (Matthew 18:1). Calling a small child to Him, He told His disciples, “Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (v. 3). Then He gave a stern warning to anyone who would harm a child (v. 6). In fact, children are so special to Him that Jesus told us, “Their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven” (v. 10).

How comforting, then, that Jesus’s love for children is connected to His love for us all! That’s why He invites us, through childlike faith, to become His sons and daughters.

Remind us always, Lord, to love children as You love them, even as we come to You with the trusting faith of a small child.

Our earthly families may fail us, but our heavenly Father never will.

By Tim Gustafson

INSIGHT

Jesus not only taught about caring for children, but He practiced it. He restored Jairus’s daughter to life (Mark 5:35–43), delivered a demon-possessed girl (Matthew 15:21–28), and rescued a demoniac boy (Mark 9:14–29). In all these cases, our Lord also showed great compassion for the parents who deeply cared for the welfare of their children.

Bill Crowder

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Streams in the Desert for Kids – I Know You

 

Psalm 119:42

Have you ever met someone who you are sure you’ve met before, but you can’t remember when or where? Then all of a sudden, it comes to you and you say, “I know you!” You recognize the person. You remember where you met. That’s a little bit like it is with God. You go along living your life day after day, then something happens that seems familiar. All at once you know. This is God at work. God has come to help.

What do you know about God? Where have you learned what you know? God’s Word is the best place to learn about God. When we know God’s Word, we get to know him too. We learn he is a good, kind, loving God who expects certain things from us. His Word also builds our faith and strength in him. It’s not hard to trust and believe in him when we know him. So get acquainted with God in the pages of his Book today.

Dear Lord, I want to know more about you. I want to recognize you when you speak to me. I want my faith in you to grow stronger. I want to love you more. Amen.

Joyce Meyer – The Fast Pace of Life

 

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and
 relieve and refresh your souls.] — Matthew 11:28 (AMPC)

Adapted from the resource – by Joyce Meyer

We really do live in a time-crunched world; just about everything we do seems to be urgent. We live under incredible pressure and run from one thing to the next—to the point that we may neglect the things that are really important in life: family, our health, God, and building up our spiritual lives.

The truth is, we cannot handle life apart from God. We cannot handle the pressure, the confusion, and the stress without Him. Our marriages will suffer, we will experience financial pressure, and our relationships won’t thrive if we do not study God’s Word and take time to pray.

But there is good news to be thankful for—God will strengthen us and enable us to handle life peacefully and wisely if we start praying about things instead of merely trying to get through the day. God will renew our strength and enable us to handle life and not be weary (see Isaiah 40:31).

Prayer Starter: Father, I am so thankful that You give me peace and rest even in the midst of a busy life. Help me to lean on You today and use wisdom in setting my schedule. You are the strength of my life, and I totally depend on You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Gives Us a New Song to Sing

 

“He has given me a new song to sing, of praise to our God. Now many will hear of the glorious things He did for me, and stand in awe before the Lord, and put their trust in Him” (Psalm 40:3).

Jim was big man on campus, president of his fraternity and an atheist. He ridiculed all those who professed faith in God, especially the Christians in his fraternity house.

I was invited, over his objections, to speak at one of their weekly meetings. A number of fraternity brothers were active in Campus Crusade and insisted that I come even though Jim resented the idea. Yet, upon completion of my message, he was one of the very first to respond and, after further counsel, received Christ. He became one of the most joyful, radiant, contagious, fruitful witnesses for Christ on the entire campus.

He had a new song to sing, a song of praise to God who had liberated him from a life of decadence and deceit. Now his heart fairly burst with joy as he developed a strategy to help reach every key student for Christ on a great university campus.

There is no greater joy in life than that of sharing Christ with others, and there is no greater joy that comes to another than that which comes with the assurance of salvation when one receives Christ into his life.

Would you like to be an instrument of God to cause others to sing praises to Him? Then tell them the glorious things He has done for you and for them, and encourage them to place their trust in Christ.

Bible Reading:Psalm 40:4-8

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today I will seek every opportunity to encourage others to receive Christ so that they can join with me in singing a new song of praise to our God, and together we will share the glorious things He does for us when we place our trust in Him.

 

http://www.cru.org

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – Communion with the Body


Read: Romans 12:3-8

. . . so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. (v. 5 NIV)

“What if . . .” For my neighborhood, these words were the beginning of a brand-new way of life. “What if,” some parents asked, “our children who experience varying forms of disability could live in a community that supports and loves them? What if showing the love of Jesus to one another and to the world looks like a place to belong?” Today, that “what if” is an entire city block—16 houses filled with people of varying abilities, each one a beloved member of the whole, and each one giving and receiving the gift of friendship.

I am not disabled, but I have lived in this community for three years. The time that I’ve spent here has taught me so much about what it means to belong—to one another, and to Christ. My friends with disabilities here have been Jesus to me and have expanded my imagination of what it means to be human. Living in a community of belonging has healed me and allowed me to offer the gift of myself and see the gift of others more clearly. Ultimately, this experience of community has shaped my understanding of the kingdom of heaven.

Please note that I am not offering my friends in this community as “object lessons,” nor am I attempting to speak from their perspective. Rather, with their permission and blessing, I simply hope to share my experience of healing and growth. —Amy Curran

Prayer: Jesus, open our eyes, hands, and hearts. Teach us to receive you in others, and to receive your love from others.

 

https://woh.org/