Charles Stanley – Jesus Christ Is Lord

 

Romans 14:7-9

“Jesus is Lord” is the confession of every Christian because it is fundamental to our faith. In order to be saved, the apostle Paul says we must confess with our mouth Jesus as Lord (Rom. 10:9). Such doctrine is central to Christianity, and those who are devoted followers of Jesus Christ believe that He is Lord of all creation and all time.

However, when we say “all,” it means us as well. If Jesus truly is the sovereign Lord of heaven and earth, then He is also the Master of our individual lives. Christ’s sovereign rule is not limited to governing the vast universe; it’s also a personal issue. He is Lord of our normal, daily lives—our choices, priorities, activities, attitudes, words, everything.

Paul captured this truth in Romans 14:8 when he wrote, “For if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord.” The apostle considered it impossible to compartmentalize Christ’s lordship. He knew his life belonged wholly to Jesus.

Jesus doesn’t want to be part of our life; He made that clear with His disciples. When we give the Lord just a portion, then we are telling Him there are other things we consider at least as important as He is. Do you know what the Bible calls this? Idolatry.

Jesus never called people to give Him a try. He demanded full surrender: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). We can’t squeeze Jesus into one segment of our life and continue living as we please. If we’re truly His, then Jesus is our life.

Bible in One Year: Daniel 1-2

 

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Our Daily Bread — Is There Wi-Fi?

 

Read: Proverbs 15:9–21 | Bible in a Year: Proverbs 13–15; 2 Corinthians 5

A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash. Proverbs 15:14 nlt

As I was preparing to go on a mission trip with some young people, the most frequently asked question was, “Is there Wi-Fi?” And I assured them there would be. So just imagine the wails and groans one night when the Wi-Fi was down!

Many of us become anxious when we’re separated from our smartphones. And when we do have our iPhones or Androids in our hands, we can be fixated on our screens.

Like many things, the internet and all that it allows us to access can become either a distraction or a blessing. It depends on what we do with it. In Proverbs we read, “A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash” (15:14 nlt).

Applying the wisdom of God’s Word to life, we can ask ourselves: Do we check our social networks compulsively throughout the day? What does that say about the things we hunger for? And do the things we read or view online encourage sensible living (vv. 16–21), or are we feeding on trash—gossip, slander, materialism, or sexual impurity?

As we yield to the work of the Holy Spirit, we can fill our minds with things that are “true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable” (Philippians 4:8 nlt). By God’s wisdom we can make good choices that honor Him.

God, help me to use my time well and to fill my mind with what is pure.

Read Being Jesus Online at discoveryseries.org/q0737.

What we let into our minds shapes the state of our souls.

By Poh Fang Chia

INSIGHT

Much of the book of Proverbs is comprised of pithy observations on how to live life well. For example, we learn about how to handle our anger, how to respond to others with respect, what to do about enemies, and the wisdom of controlling our tongues.

Most of these sayings are written in pairs called couplets. There are three kinds of couplets in Hebrew poetry: synonymous—both lines say essentially the same thing, but the second line restates the first with a different image (see Proverbs 15:10); synthetic—the second line adds to the first, enhancing it and specifying the concept (see Proverbs 15:11); and antithetical—the second line contrasts with the first (see Proverbs 15:1).

The next time you read Proverbs, pay close attention to how the two lines of a proverb go together. They are meant to express one idea.

J.R. Hudberg

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Not Alone

On a routine trip through well-worn streets, I found myself pulled out of the fragmented consciousness of a mind captive to the day’s worries with the jarring lyrics of a song. Up until that point, the song itself was much like the familiar patterns of scenery, an external factor impervious to the siege of my own fears; I was seeing but not seeing, hearing but not really hearing. But then I suddenly took in the artist’s abrupt words: “Hoping to God on high is like clinging to straws while drowning.”(1)

The simile cleared everything else from my mind and set me thinking about the descriptive words of a friend just hours earlier. Encouraging me in the midst of a difficult place, she simply reminded me that I was not alone. She was intending to assure me of her friendship and support, but I also knew she was assuring me of the presence of God. “The LORD is near to all who call on him,” declares the psalmist; and I needed to hear it.

There are many who take comfort in the thought that God is among us, comforting our fears, quieting our cries of distress, standing near those who call, moving in lives and history that we might discover the God who is there. Knowing that Christ is near in struggle and darkness is one of the only reasons I don’t completely surrender to my fears and stop moving forward. Knowing that there is a kingdom of grace, beauty, and mystery is the hope I remember when I fear death, my console when I fear uncertainty, the picture that somehow makes sense of a strand of DNA and quiets my fear of being uncared for and alone.  I can relate to the resolution of the psalmist in a world of many and distant gods: “But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge.”

But what good is it if there is a throne but it is empty, a kingdom without a king, or worse, a god who is close but like straw? Who is it who is near us?  If god is an impersonal force, or a tyrant, or a distant, semi-interested being, the kingdom is no refuge. If the hope we cling to is like straw that cannot save us from drowning, we have good reason to live in fear, “huddled,” as the musician later describes, “afraid if we dance we might die.”

The lyrics that brought my distraction to a grinding halt forced me to think graphically about the hope to which the Christian really clings, the promise that is so often on the mouth of God in Scripture:  Do not be afraid, for I am with you.(2) If God on high is merely straw and fairytale, then emptiness is inevitable, fear is certain, and hope is futile, for we are ultimately alone. We all cling futilely to fantasy and drown in delusion. Could there really be one both graceful and near enough to answer the cry of a lonely heart, the fears of an entire nation, the uncertainties of the world around?

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Not Alone

Joyce Meyer – Invest in Someone

 

The wicked borrows and does not pay back, but the righteous is gracious and kind and gives. — Psalm 37:21 (AMP)

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

Take chances today and invest in someone else’s life, especially if God tells you to do so. You may give them something of value only to learn they waste it as they have always done in the past. But remember that God made an investment in you, and He wants you to be willing to make an investment in somebody else.

Jesus died to give everybody a chance. Not everyone takes advantage of His provision, but we all have an equal opportunity to enjoy the abundant life. If you help someone, and they end up not doing what is right with it, that is between them and God. Give thanks that you are able to give, and then do whatever God tells you to do.

Prayer Starter: Father, show me someone I can invest in today. Help me to be a support and encouragement to someone in need. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – How to Test Your Experience: II

 

“You wives must submit to your husbands’ leadership in the same way you submit to the Lord…And you husbands, show the same kind of love to your wives as Christ showed to the church when He died for her, to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and God’s Word…
“Children, obey your parents; this is the right thing to do because God has placed them in authority over you. Honor your father and mother…
“And now a word to you parents. Don’t keep on scolding and nagging your children, making them angry and resentful. Rather, bring them up with the loving discipline the Lord Himself approves, with suggestions and godly advice” (Ephesians 5:22,25-26; 6:1-4).

When a dear Christian friend came to me for counsel one day, he and I agreed that something was obviously wrong in his relationship with Christ.

“Do you know for sure that you are filled with the Holy Spirit?” I asked.

“Yes, I know all about the Holy Spirit and I know that I am filled.”

“Here’s a good test,” I suggested. Then I read him the above passage from Ephesians, whereupon the Holy Spirit helped him to realize, as he compared to this passage the daily reality of his walk with Christ, that he was not truly filled with the Holy Spirit. He was honest and confessed that he did not even begin to love his wife as Christ loved the church, nor did he have a good relationship with his children, but he wanted to measure up to the scriptural standard in both cases.

As we bowed together in prayer, by faith he claimed the fullness of the Holy Spirit, and God gave to him a joyful new relationship with Christ and with his wife and children, as well as with everybody else around him.

Bible Reading:Colossians 3:18-25

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will meditate on this passage from Ephesians 5. If these experiences are not real in my life, I will claim by faith the fullness and control of God’s Holy Spirit and ask Him to make them a reality in my daily relationship with the Lord, with my loved ones and with all others.

 

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – He Will Make All Things New

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Make 2 Peter 3:13 one of the building blocks in your foundation.  It reads, “In keeping with God’s promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.” God has promised to reclaim his creation.  He is a God of restoration, not destruction. He is a God of renewal, redemption, regeneration, and resurrection.  God loves to redo and restore.

“I am making everything new!” he announced in Revelation 21:5. Everything new. The old will be gone. Gone with the hospital waiting rooms. Gone with cancer. God will lay hold of every atom, emotion, insect, animal, and galaxy. He will reclaim every diseased body and afflicted mind. I am making all things new!  This is God’s promise.  And because God’s promises are unbreakable our hope is unshakable!

Read more Unshakable Hope

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

http://www.maxlucado.com

Denison Forum – “A beast like no other”

This storm is a monster. It’s big and it’s vicious.” This is how North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper described Hurricane Florence, the most devastating storm to threaten the Carolinas in decades.

The National Weather Service states, “This will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast.” CNN is warning this morning, “Even for a major hurricane, Florence is a beast like no other.”

It’s not too late for God to intervene. If Jesus could heal the sick, raise the dead, and calm a storm, he could turn Florence back to sea or otherwise prevent this disaster.

We should be praying fervently for him to do so, remembering that “you do not have, because you do not ask” (James 4:2 NRSV). As Gabriel told Mary, “Nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).

But what if God doesn’t answer our prayers the way we want him to?

The worst thing we can do

If you had a child with cancer and your oncologist could cure her but chose not to, your outrage would obviously be justified. If God does not stop this hurricane from devastating cities along the Carolina coast, many will wonder why.

We could blame the Fall since our sin led to a broken world with hurricanes and other disasters (Romans 8:22). But God parted the Red Sea, stopped the flooded Jordan river, and calmed the stormy Sea of Galilee–all miracles that occurred in our fallen world.

We could blame the victims, remembering that God used natural disasters to judge the sins of Pharaoh and the Egyptians. But he sent Moses to warn them before the plagues began; I know of no prophetic warnings issued to those in North and South Carolina. Nor am I aware of any unique sinfulness that would make them a special target for divine judgment.

Continue reading Denison Forum – “A beast like no other”