Charles Stanley –Speaking Through Finances

 

Judges 6:1-6

One of the greatest challenges to God’s rule in our lives is money. When we experience a great season of financial blessing, it becomes easy to feel self-sufficient, thinking we do not need the Lord for our success. In those times, God may have to get our attention in a painful way.

We see this in today’s passage. The people of Israel had become unruly and turned away from God. Therefore, He got their attention by touching them where He knew they’d feel it: in the way they provided for themselves. Specifically, He allowed hostile nations to completely ruin Israel’s livelihood—their crops—for seven years. This aggression all but destroyed their way of life.

What was the result? Judges 6:6 reveals, “The sons of Israel cried to the Lord.” That is, they turned back to God and pleaded for their relationship with Him to be restored. And what instigated this repentance? It was the Lord’s direct maneuvering and interruption of their finances—a reminder that they were dependent on Him.

Over the years, I’ve talked with many people who have gone through a similar experience. God granted them great success, but then they turned away from Him. So He removed the obstacle: their money. And more often than not, the result was a renewed passion for knowing God.

Remember, our Lord is a jealous God (Ex. 20:5-6). He will not allow even His own blessings to draw you away from Him. Prayerfully consider your priorities today. Ask God to reign supreme over your finances, and request the wisdom to manage your money with humility and His direction.

Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 40-42

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — They Smelled Like Christ

 

Read: 2 Corinthians 2:14–17 | Bible in a Year: Proverbs 6–7; 2 Corinthians 2

For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved. 2 Corinthians 2:15

Hot and dusty, Bob dismounted from the bus he had ridden to a city far from home. He was tired from a long day of travel and grateful that he would be able to have dinner with friends of friends who lived in the area. They welcomed him in, and he immediately felt a sense of peace. He felt at home, comfortable, safe, and valued.

Later, wondering why he had felt such peace in an unfamiliar place, Bob found an answer in 2 Corinthians. The apostle Paul describes people who follow God as having the “pleasing aroma of Christ.” “That’s exactly it!” Bob said to himself. His hosts had “smelled like” Christ.

When Paul says that God leads His people in Christ’s “triumphal procession” spreading the fragrance of His truth, he’s referring to a practice in the ancient world. Victorious armies would burn incense as they marched through the streets. For their supporters, the smell brought joy. In the same way, Paul says the people of God carry a pleasing fragrance to those who believe. It isn’t something we create on our own but something God gives as He leads us in spreading the knowledge of Him.

Bob is my dad, and that trip to a faraway town took place more than forty years ago, but he’s never forgotten it. He’s still telling the story of the people who smelled like Christ.

Heavenly Father, thank You for leading Your people in triumph and spreading the fragrance of Your truth through us.

Who smells like Christ to you?

By Amy Peterson

INSIGHT

The phrase “pleasing aroma” or “aroma pleasing” occurs thirty-nine times in the Old Testament—once in Genesis when Noah made a sacrifice to the Lord after the flood (8:21) and three times in Exodus (dealing with the consecration of the priests in chapter 29). The remainder are found in Leviticus and Numbers, most of which provide details about the various sacrifices or offerings the Israelite people were to bring God, such as burnt (Leviticus 1:13), grain (2:9), fellowship (4:31), drink (Numbers 15:10), sin (v. 24), and food (29:6). All of these offerings and sacrifices, when given in the prescribed way, were an “aroma pleasing to the Lord” (Leviticus 3:5). Two of these sacrifices were required: the sin offering and trespass offering, which were to atone for sin.

In the New Testament this phrase appears only once, here in today’s passage: “We are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing” (2 Corinthians 2:15). No longer are sacrifices necessary, for Jesus paid the sacrifice for our sins. When we follow Him, God is pleased with us because of what Christ did on our behalf.

Alyson Kieda

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Joyce Meyer – Godly Sorrow

 

Be miserable and grieve and weep [over your sin]. Let your [foolish] laughter be turned to mourning and your [reckless] joy to gloom. — James 4:9 (AMP)

Adapted from the resource – by Joyce Meyer

Yesterday I encountered a person who was quite demanding that I do something she wanted me to do and would not take no for an answer. I ended up being rude to her, and I feel a godly sorrow over my behavior. I always want to represent God well, and that means I often need to be long-suffering with someone who is irritating to me.

I don’t feel guilty and condemned, because I have repented and know that I am forgiven, but I do feel a godly sorrow, and I think that feeling is healthy and right. We should take our sin seriously and be deeply penitent when we do something that we know is wrong.

Although this feeling is uncomfortable, I welcome it because it impresses on me the importance of my witness for Christ and reminds me of how easy it is to behave in a fleshly and carnal way. The Bible urges us repeatedly to be on our guard against the temptations we encounter in the world and to live carefully. Being rude to someone may seem a small thing, but it is the little foxes that spoil the vine (see Song of Solomon 2:15).

I believe we should appreciate any feeling of chastisement that we receive from the Holy Spirit, because it is God helping us be the kind of people who represent Jesus well.

Prayer Starter: Lord, I appreciate Your conviction and chastisement and I am deeply sorry for my sins and grateful for Your forgiveness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Covered With His Love

 

“Long ago, even before He made the world, God chose us to be His very own, through what Christ would do for us; He decided then to make us holy in His eyes, without a single fault – we who stand before Him covered with His love” (Ephesians 1:4).

On every continent and in scores of countries, I have asked thousands of people, including Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, communists and atheists: “Who is the greatest person who ever lived? Who has done more good for mankind than anyone else?”

Among knowledgeable people, the answer is always the same, “Jesus of Nazareth.”

Born nearly 2,000 years ago, His coming had been foretold for centuries by the great prophets of Israel. The Old Testament, written by many individuals over a period of 1,500 years, contains more than 300 references concerning the promised Messiah. All of these prophecies have been fulfilled in the birth, life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus. They could not have referred to anyone else.

That in itself is conclusive evidence of God’s personal and supernatural intervention in history. Jesus’ coming into this world was no accident, and we who trust Him are covered by His love.

What a beautiful picture – covered with His love!

“All the armies that ever marched and all the navies that were ever built, and all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together have not affected the life of man upon this earth as has that one solitary life,” declared an anonymous observer in reflecting upon the life of Jesus Christ.

Bible Reading:Ephesians 1:5-14

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Throughout this day I will picture myself embraced by the arms of the Almighty, His love covering and comforting me. I will share His love and faithfulness with others.

 

 

http://www.cru.org