Charles Stanley – The Consequences of Anger

 

Proverbs 19:19

God feels anger, and He has given us this same ability. Anger is a common emotion that arises when we encounter threats, insults, injustices, or frustrations. However, because of our fallen nature, we often respond in a sinful manner when this intense feeling overwhelms us.

One sinful response is to hold on to anger until it becomes part of our character, taking up residence in our innermost being. There, it starts to twist thinking and agitate emotions. Peace and joy are noticeably absent because they can’t coexist with the anxiety and frustration that accompany bitterness.

After poisoning the character, anger spills over and affects others. We might throw hurtful words like flaming arrows, even at those who weren’t the cause of the rage. And then we raise shields of self-protection in an effort to avoid future hurts. But sadly, these behaviors lead to stressed relationships and isolation.

While anger can damage our character and connections with others, its most tragic consequence is broken fellowship with God. Wrath not only hinders His work in and through believers; it also grieves the Father’s heart. He desires to shower His children with blessings, but angry fists cannot receive His riches of character and calling.

Are you harboring anger? It could be so deeply buried within your soul that you are unaware of its presence. Since sustained, unresolved bitterness will affect every area of your life, ask God to reveal any hidden resentment. Then release it, and take hold of the riches of Christ.

Bible in One Year: Mark 13-14

 

 

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Our Daily Bread — A Piercing Thorn

 

Read: Isaiah 53:1–6 | Bible in a Year: Isaiah 53–55; 2 Thessalonians 1

But he was pierced for our transgressions . . . and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5

The thorn pricked my index finger, drawing blood. I hollered and then groaned, drawing back my hand instinctively. But I shouldn’t have been surprised: trying to prune a thorny bush without gardening gloves was a recipe for exactly what just happened.

The pain throbbing in my finger—and the blood flowing from it—demanded attention. And as I searched for a bandage, I found myself unexpectedly thinking about my Savior. After all, soldiers forced Jesus to don an entire crown of thorns (John 19:1–3). If one thorn hurt this much, I thought, how much agony would an entire crown of them inflict? And that’s just a small portion of the physical pain He suffered. A whip flogged His back. Nails penetrated His wrists and ankles.

But Jesus endured spiritual pain too. Verse 5 of Isaiah 53 tells us, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him.” The “peace” Isaiah talks about here is another way of talking about forgiveness. Jesus allowed Himself to be pierced—by nails, by a crown of thorns—to bring us spiritual peace with God. His sacrifice, His willingness to die on our behalf, paved the way to make a relationship with the Father possible. And He did it, Scripture tells us, for me, for you.

Father, I can’t imagine the pain Your Son endured to wash away my sin. Thank You for sending Him for me, to be pierced for my sins that I might have a relationship with You. 

Jesus allowed Himself to be pierced to bring us spiritual peace with God.

By Adam Holz

INSIGHT

Isaiah 53:1–6 is part of a section of the book known as the Servant Songs. There are four Servant Songs in Isaiah that describe the service, suffering, and triumph of the servant of the Lord—Jesus the Messiah. These songs are found in Isaiah 42:1–9, 49:1–13, 50:4–11, and 52:13–53:12.

This last servant song describes the suffering and triumph of the servant. Though He is pierced, crushed, punished, and wounded, it’s His suffering that brings us peace and healing (53:5). The ultimate purpose for this suffering is outlined in verse 10—His life is an offering for sin. The servant takes our place—suffering for us and bearing our sins. And by His suffering and death, we are given life and peace. But death is not the end for the servant: “After he has suffered, he will see the light of life” (v. 11). In His suffering and resurrection, Jesus reconciles humanity to God (see Matthew 8:17; Acts 8:30–35; Romans 10:15–17; 15:21).

How can you celebrate the life that Jesus died to give you?

For more on the book of Isaiah, see Old Testament Survey: Ecclesiastes–Isaiah at christianuniversity.org/OT224.

J.R. Hudberg

 

 

http://www.odb.org

 

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Tearing Down the House of Cards

“God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life” was a slogan I heard over and over again as I grew up. As a young person, this slogan meant that all my plans would be wonderful because God loved me. Now that I am older, I understand that this slogan had more to do with the Christian Gospel’s understanding of salvation than it did with guiding me down the primrose path of life. Yet, it still reverberates in my head when I experience hardship, pain, and loss. For it is often difficult to square a belief in the love of God with a series of life experiences that run counter to the expectations for a wonderful plan.

The seeming contradictions between stated beliefs and life experience often make faith complicated. For me, many of the cherished beliefs I held imploded and what I once thought was an invincible fortress came crashing down as life experience smashed up against them like a battering ram. C.S. Lewis described his own spiritual dismantling after the death of his wife, Joy, this way: “God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn’t. In this trial He makes us occupy the dock, the witness box, and the bench all at once. He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down.”(1) Yet having to dwell in the rubble of what is left of one’s faith doesn’t feel as if it is the work of a God who desires to smash all our false conceptions.

There is a “great cloud of witnesses” who have also experienced the difficult conflict between what was held to be the truth and reality. Knowing this can give comfort for all who experience the collapse of all they hold dear. I am reminded of the biblical narrative of Joseph, as one example. He was told by God through a sequence of dreams that he would be great one day—so great, in fact, that his own brothers would come and bow down out of reverence for him. He had been given a glimpse of his destiny as Jacob’s dearly loved child, and perhaps he believed his path to that destiny would be won with ease. Instead, his path took many unexpected turns. First, his own brothers attempted to murder him, he was enslaved, and he spent a large portion of his life in prison having been falsely accused of various crimes he did not commit. Surely, Joseph must have had days where he wondered if God’s plan for his life was a wonderful one.

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Joyce Meyer – Double Blessing

 

Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double. — Zechariah 9:12

Adapted from the resource My Time with God Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

Hope is a powerful force that will bring you through any storm. Our hope is in God; therefore, we can hope without any natural reason to do so. Hope is a positive expectation of good.

Practice saying, “Something good is going to happen to me today, and something good is going to happen through me today.” God is good, and He wants to shower His goodness on you.

There are times of difficulty, loss, illness, and disappointment in life, but if we will endure with hope in our hearts, we will be rewarded with a double blessing for our former trouble.

Let me strongly encourage you to refuse to be hopeless. Put your hope in God and things will always come around to being right in due time. I can’t guarantee how long it will take, and it may not be quick, but hope will strengthen you to face life with joy even in the midst of trouble.

Live daily thinking, Today may be the day of my breakthrough. It could happen suddenly…at any moment.

Hope is the anchor of our souls. It keeps us from giving in to wild emotions that attempt to lead us to do things we will regret later on. The wise man puts His hope in God. He listens for God’s voice and follows it, knowing that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. God is that Light, and He is urging you to be a prisoner of hope.

Prayer Starter: Father, anytime I feel discouraged or weary, help me remember that there is always hope. Help me to be filled with hope in You and positive expectation. You are good, and I believe You want to be good to me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – His Life in Us

 

“Jesus said, ‘I will only reveal Myself to those who love Me and obey Me. The Father will love them too, and We will come to them and live with them. Anyone who doesn’t obey Me doesn’t love Me” (John 14:23,24).

Millions of Christians throughout the world profess their love for Christ each week by attending church services, singing songs, studying their Bibles, attending prayer meetings, etc. Yet, all the talk in the world will never convince anyone that you or I truly love the Lord unless we obey His commandments.

How can we know His commandments unless we study His word? When we study His Word, how can we comprehend what He is saying unless the Holy Spirit illumines our minds and teaches us? It is God the Holy Spirit who inspired the writing for His holy Word through holy men. He alone can help us understand the true meaning of the Scripture and enable us to obey His commands.

Thus, the reality of Christ abiding in us is made possible through a supernatural enabling of the Holy Spirit who came to glorify Christ and through whose indwelling presence the Lord Jesus will reveal Himself to us.

Is Jesus Christ a reality in your life? If not, it is quite likely that you are not demonstrating your love for Him by studying His Word and obeying His commandments.

Bible Reading:John 14:15-22

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: With the help of the Holy Spirit who enable me to live the supernatural life, I will endeavor to demonstrate my love for Christ by studying His word and obeying His commandments.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Just Believe Jesus

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Suppose you give me a gift.  Let’s say you present me with a new tie.  I take it out of the box, examine it and say thank you, and then reach for my wallet.  “Now, how much do I owe you?” I ask.

You think I’m kidding. “It’s a gift,” you say, “you don’t need to pay me.”

“I understand,” I respond, but show I really don’t by asking, “Could I write you a check?”

In trying to buy your gift, I’ve degraded your grace.  I’ve robbed you of the joy of giving.  How often we rob God.  Have you considered what an insult it is to God when we try to pay him for his goodness?  Sly is the scheme of Satan!  He causes us to question grace, to earn it.  What is it God wants us to do?  Just believe…believe the One he sent.  And receive the gift he gives. “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”  John 6:29.

Read more A Gentle Thunder

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

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Denison Forum – Why a journalist’s disappearance is globally significant

 

Jamal Khashoggi, a famous journalist and critic of Saudi Arabia’s leadership, walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain some documents. He has not been seen since.

His fiancée is afraid he has been kidnapped or killed. Turkish authorities claim to have evidence that he was tortured and murdered by Saudi agents. Saudi officials insist he left the consulate shortly after arriving.

Let’s survey what we know this morning, then we’ll explore the reasons why his disappearance is so significant to the Middle East and to the West.

Who is Jamal Khashoggi?

Jamal Khashoggi was born in Medina in 1958. His grandfather was the personal physician of King Abdulaziz Al Saud, the founder of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. His cousin, Dodi Fayed, was dating Princess Diana when the two were killed in 1997.

A longtime critic of the Saudi government, he relocated to the US in 2017 and began writing for the Washington Post. He founded a new political party this year directly opposing the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

On the afternoon of October 2, he went inside the main entrance of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul to obtain a document proving he was divorced. He could then marry his fiancée, a Turkish citizen, who waited outside. After he did not come back out, she reported him missing. The Saudi government claims he left the consulate through a back entrance.

What happened to Khashoggi?

CNN reported on Monday that the Saudis were preparing a statement acknowledging that Khashoggi’s death was the result of an interrogation gone wrong. According to CNN’s sources, the interrogation was intended to lead to his abduction from Turkey. The report would likely conclude that the operation was carried out without clearance and that those involved will be held responsible.

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