Charles Stanley – The Divinely Inspired Book

 

2 Peter 1:12-21

How important is your Bible to you? If you’re like most Christians in the Western world, you probably have several copies of Scripture in your home. But the number of Bibles we own is no measure of their value to us. It’s what we do with God’s Word and what it does in our heart that reveals how much we treasure it.

The Bible is the most important book in the world because it’s the only one that is the inspired Word of God. Nothing else ever written can match the wisdom and revelation of the Scriptures.

How then did God give us this sacred text? 2 Peter 1:21 says that the writings did not result from “an act of human will” but came to be through “men moved by the Holy Spirit.” While retaining their own personalities, intellect, and vocabularies, these human authors were borne along by the Spirit of God, writing only what He willed them to say.

Amazingly, the same God who created the universe divinely inspired the writing of Scripture. He did so to reveal Himself to us and to explain how sinful mankind can be made right with a holy God. Everything we need for life and godliness is found within its pages (2 Peter 1:3).

And He hasn’t left us on our own to interpret what He has written (2 Peter 1:20). The truth is that in ourselves, we can’t understand it. But God has given us His Holy Spirit so we can know His mind through the Bible (1 Corinthians 2:10-16). However, if we rarely open it, we won’t know His thoughts and as a result will forfeit His blessings and wisdom.

Bible in One Year: Amos 5-9

 

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Our Daily Bread —  The Blessing of Encouragers

 

Read: Acts 9:26–31 | Bible in a Year: Ecclesiastes 10–12; Galatians 1

But Barnabas took [Saul] and brought him to the apostles. Acts 9:27

The 2010 movie The King’s Speech tells the story of England’s King George VI, who unexpectedly became monarch when his brother abandoned the throne. With the country on the brink of World War II, government officials wanted a well-spoken leader because of the increasingly influential role of radio. King George VI, however, struggled with a stuttering problem.

I was especially drawn to the film’s portrayal of George’s wife, Elizabeth. Throughout his struggle to overcome his speech difficulty, she was his constant source of encouragement. Her steadfast devotion provided the support he needed to overcome his challenge and rule well during the war.

The Bible highlights the stories of encouragers who gave powerful assistance during challenging circumstances. Moses had Aaron and Hur’s support during Israel’s battles (Exodus 17:8–16). Elizabeth encouraged her pregnant relative Mary (Luke 1:42–45).

After his conversion, Paul needed the support of Barnabas, whose name literally means “son of encouragement.” When the disciples were fearful of Paul, Barnabas, at the risk of his own reputation, vouched for him (Acts 9:27). His endorsement was essential to Paul being welcomed by the Christian community. Barnabas later served as Paul’s traveling and preaching companion (Acts 14). Despite the dangers, they worked together to proclaim the gospel.

Believers in Jesus are still called to “encourage one another and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). May we be eager to offer encouragement to help support others, especially as they face difficult circumstances.

The encouragement of a friend can make all the difference.

By Lisa Samra

INSIGHT

Barnabas was an encourager. In the Scriptures, he is singled out as a believer who encouraged others by his generosity (Acts 4:36–37). He encouraged Paul, as we see in today’s text, and he also played a critical role in encouraging John Mark, a young man who was deemed an unreliable failure by Paul because he had abandoned the first missionary journey (13:13). Barnabas wanted to take John Mark on the second missionary trip, but Paul refused, causing a severe break in their partnership (15:36–39). Barnabas took a risk and gave John Mark a second chance, restoring him to effective ministry (2 Timothy 4:11). Without Barnabas, there might not have been the great theologian Paul, who wrote thirteen books of the New Testament, or John Mark, who wrote the gospel of Mark.

Who has been a “Barnabas” to you by encouraging you, believing in you, and restoring you to wholeness and usefulness? Will you be a Barnabas to someone who needs a fresh start?

  1. T. Sim

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Streams in the Desert for Kids – I Know for Sure

 

Hebrews 11:1

Mark was a young boy whose grandmother told him he could ask for one thing for his birthday from a catalogue. Mark spent the next few days pouring over the catalogue, looking at all the different things he could ask for. Should he ask for a new ski coat or new running shoes? Should he ask for a new book or a DVD? Should he ask for new swimming gear for the summer or a video game?

It took a long time, but Mark finally decided. He wrote a letter to his grandmother telling her that he wanted a brand new swim suit that he could use at her cottage on the lake that summer. He went to the mailbox to mail his letter, but instead of letting it go he held onto the end of it. He stood there for quite a while, thinking, Did I really ask for what I wanted most? Should I think some more about what to ask for? Maybe I want a red swim suit instead of the green one. Did my grandmother really mean it when she told me to ask for a present?

Finally, Mark pulled the letter out of the box and put it in his pocket and went home to worry about it some more. Guess what? He didn’t get a gift from his grandmother until he finally made up his mind to let the letter go. Then soon there was a package from her with his gift inside.

Having faith in God is something like that. If we trust God completely, we tell him what we need then we let it go. We go on about our business and see what he will do for us. That is what it means to be certain about what we do not see.

Dear Lord, I’m going to ask for something I really need. Then I’m going to let go and wait to see what you will do. Amen

Joyce Meyer – Decide to Be Second

 

Be devoted to one another with [authentic] brotherly affection [as members of one family], give preference to one another in honor. — Romans 12:10 (AMP)

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

Giving preference to others requires a willingness to adapt and adjust. It means to allow another to go first or to have the best of something. We show preference when we give someone else the best cut of meat on the platter instead of keeping it back for ourselves. We show preference when we allow someone with fewer groceries in his cart than we have in ours to go in front of us at the supermarket checkout counter, or when we are waiting in line to use a public restroom and someone behind us in line is pregnant or elderly and we choose to let that individual go ahead of us.

Each time we show preference, we have to make a mental adjustment. We were planning to be first, but we decide to be second. We are in a hurry, but we decide to wait on someone else who seems to have a greater need. A person is not yet rooted and grounded in love until they have learned to show preference to others (see Ephesians 3:17). Don’t just learn to adjust, but learn to do it with a good attitude. Learning to do these things is learning to walk in love.

Prayer Starter: Father, help me to truly prefer other people today with a good attitude. Help me to humble myself and love others the way You do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Power to Witness

 

“But ye shall receive power, after the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8, KJV).

While I was speaking to a group of theological students in Australia, one young man became very angry and argumentative when I emphasized the importance of witnessing for Christ daily as a way of life and explained that disobedient Christians cannot be Spirit-filled. Not to witness for Christ is to disobey our Lord’s specific command. Therefore, any Christian who does not regularly share his faith in Christ cannot walk in the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

“I work day and night to maintain good grades,” he declared, “I don’t have time to witness while in seminary. I can witness after I become a pastor.”

Many Christians make similar excuses for their lack of witness, but none are valid. Some say they do not have the gift of evangelism. Others say they are still preparing for the day when they will be witnesses. Some pastors believe it is the responsibility of their members to witness, and they are to preach and teach the Word. Yet the Bible clearly teaches that all believers are to be witnesses with their lives and with their lips. It is a command of God.

On thousands of occasions we have found that pastors, students and laymen who have never introduced anyone to our Lord become fruitful witnesses when they learn how to live a Spirit-filled life and are taught how to share their faith in Christ with others. The apostle Paul, who was a Spirit-filled witness, shares in Colossians 1:28 how everywhere we go we are to tell everyone who will listen about Christ.

Bible Reading:Luke 24:45-49

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today – and every day – I will ask the Holy Spirit to direct me to those whose hearts He has prepared, and to anoint and empower me to speak convincingly, lovingly and effectively of our Savior

 

 

http://www.cru.org