Charles Stanley – Trust God for Your Needs

 

Philippians 4:19

Jim saved for a long time to take an Alaskan cruise. At last he was on board with two carefully packed suitcases. The first evening, when he heard “Dinner is served” announced over the loudspeaker, he took peanut butter crackers from his suitcase and sat at the table in his small cabin. Every day at mealtime, he repeated the ritual. It wasn’t that Jim didn’t like the ship’s tasty banquets. He simply didn’t know that his meals were included in the price of the ticket. For two weeks he enjoyed beautiful scenery and wildlife off the decks but ate dry, stale food in his cabin.

This sad story is a metaphor for the way some believers follow Jesus. God has promised to meet His children’s every need—His boundless riches are included in the price Christ paid for their salvation (Eph. 1:18). Yet many folks are instead trying to live out of their own resources. They don’t realize that the wealth of their Father’s love, power, and provision is on their “menu.”

A believer’s relationship with the Lord is one of complete unity. Jesus is our life. His Spirit lives through us. Therefore, we have remarkable resources available to us, as do our brothers and sisters in Christ—we have access to His power, strength, and endurance.

Jim didn’t know he had the right to satisfy his hunger in an extravagant way. Learn from this exaggerated example. Discover in God’s Word the riches you are entitled to through faith. God offers believers everything required for living well and wisely, so trust Him for all your needs.

Bible in One Year: Habakkuk 1-3

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — When We’re Weary

 

Read: Galatians 6:1–10 | Bible in a Year: Isaiah 3–4; Galatians 6

Let us not become weary in doing good. Galatians 6:9

Sometimes trying to do the right thing can be exhausting. We may wonder, Do my well-intentioned words and actions make any difference at all? I wondered this recently when I sent a prayerfully thought-out email meant to encourage a friend, only to have it met with an angry response. My immediate reaction was a mixture of hurt and anger. How could I be so misunderstood?

Before I responded out of anger, I remembered that we won’t always see the results (or the results we desire) when we tell someone about how Jesus loves them. When we do good things for others hoping to draw them to Him, they may spurn us. Our gentle efforts to prompt someone to right action may be ignored.

Galatians 6 is a good place to turn when we’re discouraged by someone’s response to our sincere efforts. Here the apostle Paul encourages us to consider our motives—to “test our actions”—for what we say and do (vv. 1–4). When we have done so, he encourages us to persevere: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people” (vv. 9–10).

God wants us to continue living for Him, which includes praying for and telling others about Him—“doing good.” He will see to the results.

Dear God, thank You for the encouragement we receive from Your Word. Help us to persevere in doing good.

We can leave the results of our lives in God’s hands.

By Alyson Kieda

INSIGHT

Sometimes we can be tempted to take pride in our own good deeds. Unfortunately, this attitude may result in our looking down on the shortcomings of others. Instead, Paul says that believers empowered by the Spirit are to restore those caught up in a sin gently. By helping people deal with their sins, we’re fulfilling the law of Christ.

This helps us understand what it means to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:39). Helping others grow in godliness is the essence of loving them.

How can you love your neighbor today?

J.R. Hudberg

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Love Unsought

How do you know that God exists?  How do you know that God loves you?  These questions, upon the hearts of so many, have answers as real as the formative moments in your life.

As I have aged I seem to grow more and more prone to nostalgia.  Many of us do this instinctively, clinging to memories past, perhaps looking backwards with the hope of seeing a purpose for our lives.  When I travel to India, I make it a point to revisit time and again those significant marking points of my own life.  As I recall these moments past but not forgotten, I hear the gentle voice of the God very much in the present.  And God says, “I was there.”  “When on you were on your bike contemplating suicide, I was there.  When you were but nine years old and your grandmother died, I arranged for her gravestone to hold in time the very verse that would lead you to conversion.  I was there.”

It is often in these harrowing moments—your parents’ divorce, your child’s birth, the death of a loved one—where God leaves a defining mark.  There is reason you remember such moments so vividly.  We have a choice to hear or to ignore, but regardless his voice cries out in our memories, “I was there.”  God has been in our past.  God is here today.  God will be there in our future.

God exists, as Lewis worded it so well, in the “eternal now.”  And the psalmist, always writing with feet firmly planted in time, but arms ever reaching for the eternal, beautifully explains, “Thou art God from age to age the same.”  And while hindsight is often God’s means of gently revealing his presence all along, we can be comforted in the peril of the moment nonetheless.  As we encounter these markers in time, our sorrow is held in the beautiful mystery of one who wept with a friend, who answered her question “Where were you?” with tears of his own.  Beside Lazarus’s tomb, Jesus offered Mary a glimpse of the present love of God, though he knew a greater future.  God was with you then.  God is there with you now.  And He loves you.

William Shakespeare once reasoned, “Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.”  How do you know that God loves you?  While you and I were yet lost and wandering, Christ was wandering after us, by way of the Cross.  And this sacrifice stands as the greatest marker in all time.

Ravi Zacharias is founder and chairman of the board of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries.

 

http://www.rzim.org/

Joyce Meyer – Freely

 

…God’s love has been abundantly poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. — Romans 5:5 (AMP)

Adapted from the resource Wake Up to the Word Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

The word freely means “spontaneously; without constraint or persuasion.”

When the Lord, in the person of the Holy Spirit, comes to dwell in our heart, He brings love with Him, because God is love (see 1 John 4:8).

It’s important to ask what we are doing with the love of God that has been freely given to us. Are we rejecting it because we don’t think we are valuable enough to be loved? Do we believe God is like other people who have rejected and hurt us? Or are we receiving His love by faith, believing that He is greater than our failures and weaknesses?

With God’s help, we can love ourselves—not in a selfish way, but in a balanced, godly way; a way that simply affirms God’s creation as essentially good and right. God’s plan is this: for us to receive His love freely, love ourselves in a godly way, generously love Him in return, and finally love all the people who come into our lives.

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for Your abundant love. Help me to freely receive Your love, love myself, then pour out Your love to those around me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Ask What You Will

 

“If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” (John 15:7, KJV).

When Campus Crusade for Christ began at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1951, our first act was to organize a 24-hour prayer chain. Around the clock, scores of men and women interceded for UCLA students and faculty. God answered prayer in a remarkable way, as His Spirit touched the entire campus.

Thirty-one years later, more than 16,000 full-time and associate staff members of Campus Crusade for Christ in more than 150 countries and protectorates are teaching millions of others the importance of prayer, with revolutionary spiritual results and many millions receiving Christ.

Prayer has always been the breathe, life, vitality, strength and power of the Christian. Beginning with our Lord, who spent much time in prayer, and continuing with the disciples and fruitful, Spirit-filled Christians through the centuries, prayer remains a major emphasis in the life of every believer.

History records no mighty men or women of God whose lives were not characterized by prayer, nor any great spiritual movements, awakenings or revivals that were not preceded by prayer. James 4:2 reminds us, “Ye have not, because ye ask not.”

It is not enough to pray, we must pray according to the Word and will of God. For that reason, understanding and obeying our Scripture assignment for today is crucial. We must abide in Christ and allow His Word to abide in us before we are qualified to pray. God’s Word reminds us, “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us; And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.” (1 John 5:14,15, KJV).

Bible Reading:Matthew 7:7-11

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: From this day forth I will seek, through the enabling of the Holy Spirit, to abide in Christ and have His Word abide in me. As I discover God’s Will through the diligent study of His Word and the leading of His Holy Spirit, I will pray more intelligently and thus can expect answers to my prayers.

 

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Praise From God

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

The Bible says God will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and He will expose the motives of the heart.  “At that time each will receive their praise from God” (1 Corinthians 4:5).  On the last day, God will walk you through your life day by day, moment by moment, issuing commendation after commendation.  You greeted the new student in your class.  Fine job.  You forgave your brother, encouraged your neighbor. . .I’m so proud of you.

The Bible says, “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them” (Hebrews 6:10).  Our just God will recognize faithful stewardship.  The same pen that records our impure thoughts makes notes of our pure ones. And guess who’ll be waiting for you at the finish line?  Jesus Christ!  This is His 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 – Why is today’s Senate hearing so crucial?

Judge Brett Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford are set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee today. Last night, Judiciary Committee Republicans revealed that they have interviewed a man “who believes he, not Dr. Kavanaugh, had the encounter with Dr. Ford in 1982.” However, Dr. Ford plans to testify today that she knew Kavanaugh in high school and will clearly identify him as her attacker.

One reason Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination is so critical is that it could change the ideological balance of the Court. For many years, there have essentially been four liberal justices, four conservatives, and a swing vote (Anthony Kennedy). If Judge Kavanaugh replaces Justice Kennedy, the resulting five-to-four conservative majority could control the Court for fifteen years or more.

The status of abortion rights, religious liberty, and a host of other issues could be affected.

The America I remember

I’m old enough to remember an America that looked much more like I wish we looked today.

I was born in 1958. In that year, according to Gallup, 92 percent of Americans identified as Christians; only 2 percent said they had no religion. Last year, 59 percent of Americans identified as Christians; 20 percent said they had no religion.

Fifty-nine percent of Baby Boomers like me (born 1946-64) say religion is “very important” in our lives; only 38 percent of Younger Millennials (born 1990-96) agree.

I grew up with no church commitment at all. That made me a distinct minority in my community, where nearly everyone went to church on Sunday. Many of us remember a day like that.

However, 1958 was a bad year for civil rights. On June 29, Bethel Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, was bombed by Ku Klux Klan members, killing four girls. Virginia’s governor threatened to shut down any school if forced to integrate. And thirteen African-Americans were arrested for sitting in front of a bus in Birmingham.

In 1958, women made 63 cents for every dollar earned by men; today, they earn 80.5 cents for every dollar a man earns. The poverty rate over the last six decades has fallen by half–from 23 percent to 12.3 percent.

A remarkable story

It’s easy to idealize the past, but there’s never been an era that did not include good and bad. And we cannot go back in time, even if we wish to do so. As Heraclitus noted, you cannot step in the same river twice.

How, then, are we to help our country become all God wants us to be?

Today’s Senate hearing and the results of Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation process are crucial. The political governance of our country is vital to our country. I believe that God is calling more Americans into public service than are answering his call. I believe strongly that Christians should be engaged in our political process on every level.

But I also believe that the solutions to the spiritual crisis of our day are spiritual. We need a new word from God for every new challenge we face.

Consider an extraordinary example.

In 2 Samuel 5, David has just become king of the united tribes of Israel. In response, their archenemies, the Philistines, mounted an assault with so many soldiers that they “spread out in the Valley of Rephaim” (v. 18).

How did the great warrior-king respond to his first crisis? Did he mount an offensive? Did he stage a strategic retreat? “David inquired of the Lord (v. 19). And God led him to attack and defeat his enemies.

Now the story takes an amazing turn.

The Philistines returned (v. 22), so David “inquired of the Lord again (v. 23). This time he was told, “You shall not go up; go around to their rear, and come against them opposite the balsam trees. And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then rouse yourself, for then the Lord has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines” (vv. 24-25).

David “did as the Lord commanded him, and struck down the Philistines from Geba to Gezer” (v. 25).

Your “tent of meeting”

I am absolutely convinced that America’s moral and spiritual future rests with America’s Christians. My reason is emphatically not because we are better than anyone else or more deserving of God’s favor.

It is because a lost person “does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14). God speaks his life-changing word to those who can receive and share it. We are our nation’s only salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16).

That’s why it is imperative that we meet with our Lord every day; that we seek his word for us from Scripture, prayer, and worship; that we follow David’s example by giving every challenge we face to our Father in prayer. He has a new word for each new day.

Moses met God in a transforming way at the burning bush (Exodus 3:1-6). Then he continued to encounter God in a “tent of meeting” where “the Lord would speak with Moses” (Exodus 33:9). In fact, “the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend” (v. 11).

It may seem that such a relationship is impossible for us. “I’m not Moses,” you may be saying to yourself.

But as Craig Denison notes: “You and I have access to relationship far greater than a face-to-face encounter like Moses had. We have God’s Spirit within us fellowshipping with our spirit. We never have to leave the burning bush or the Tent of Meeting. True restored relationship finds its source in continual, unending encounters with God’s presence dwelling with us and upon us.”

Where is your Tent of Meeting? When will you meet your Father there?

 

http://www.denisonforum.org/