Charles Stanley – Listening to God

 

Psalm 81:8-14

Does the heavenly Father still speak to His children? It’s a question that may be on your mind right now. We all have this need to know the Lord is still communicating with us. We crave the certainty that He hears us—and answers.

In today’s reading, we get a clear picture of God’s heart: He yearns for Israel to listen to Him. Think about that. Here’s the almighty Creator of the universe, pleading with His chosen people to hear His voice. It doesn’t make sense, does it? Why on earth would the Israelites turn a deaf ear to their sustaining, omnipotent heavenly Father?

However, God’s message is sent to inattentive ears. He says, “O Israel, if you would listen to Me! … But My people did not listen to My voice, and Israel did not obey Me” (Psalm 81:8, Psalm 81:11).

Thousands of years later, I’m certain that same question still rings through heaven. We can practically hear the Lord saying, “Oh, church, if only you would listen to Me. But My church did not listen to My voice. Oh, that My church would listen to Me!”

Have you ever sensed God saying the same thing to you personally? We all can fall out of touch with Him at times. That happens when we put ourselves in one corner and restrict the Lord to someplace “over there” and out of the way. Then we seem to lose track of His voice in our life. And yet, though we may not hear Him, He is still talking.

Quiet your spirit today. Open God’s Word and invite Him to speak to you anew. And then listen.

Bible in One Year: 1 Corinthians 11-13

 

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Our Daily Bread — Honoring God with Thanks

 

Read: Psalm 50:8–15 | Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 37–39; 2 Peter 2

Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me. Psalm 50:15

The doctor wasn’t frowning, despite talking to my husband about his recent cancer diagnosis. Smiling, she offered a suggestion: start each day by giving thanks. “For at least three things,” the doctor said.  Dan agreed, knowing that gratitude opens our hearts to find encouragement in God’s goodness. Thus, Dan starts each day with words of praise. Thank You, God, for a good night’s sleep. For my clean bed. For sunshine. For breakfast on the table. For a smile on my lips.

Each word is heartfelt. But could it sound trivial? Does our praise in life’s small details matter to Almighty God? In Psalm 50, David’s chief musician, Asaph, offers a clear answer. God has “no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens” (v. 9). Instead of these once-formal Israelite sacrifices of gratitude, God wants His people to give Him our hearts and lives in gratitude (vv. 14, 23).

As my husband experienced, whole-hearted gratitude helps our spirits flourish. Then when we call on the Lord “in the day of trouble,” He will “deliver” us (v. 15).  Does this mean Dan will be healed, spiritually and physically, during his two-year treatment? Or not until after this lifetime? We don’t know. But for now, Dan delights in showing God he’s grateful for His love, and for who God is: Redeemer. Healer. Friend. And friends delight to hear these beautiful words: Thank You.

What verses bring you comfort in trials? Share at Facebook.com/ourdailybread.

My gratitude to God is great to Him.

By Patricia Raybon

INSIGHT

The legal language and setting in Psalm 50 are hard to miss. A universal summons is issued by God (v. 1) and the purpose of the gathering is clear—the judgment of His people (v. 4). In a manner reminiscent of the giving of the Law (Exodus 19:16–19), the Lord makes His grand entry (Psalm 50:2–3) as the righteous and just judge (v. 6). However, “judge” is not His only role; He is also witness (v. 7) and plaintiff (v. 8). Two groups of defendants enter the Lord’s courtroom and the Judge has indictments that match the transgressions of each group. The Lord’s charges against the first group (vv. 7–15) concerned their worship. Though a formal worship system was in place, the kind of worship the Lord desired was missing. Spiritual worship that included “thanksgiving” mattered to the Lord more than the flesh and blood of animals. The charges against the second group (vv. 16–23) concerned their hypocrisy. Though they were able to recite words that came from God, their actions demonstrated their hearts were far from Him (vv. 17–21). As with the first group, the Lord’s corrective included the reminder that “thank offerings” really matter to Him (v. 23).

Arthur Jackson

 

 

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Joyce Meyer – Staying Power

 

[Looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity]….— Hebrews 12:2 (AMP)

Adapted from the resource The Power Of Being Thoughtful Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

People who finish well in life are the ones with strong character. As believers, we can be grateful that the Holy Spirit is developing the character in us that we need to do what God calls us to do—we have “staying power.”

Jesus did not quit when His circumstances were rough, and He is our example. The Bible says we are to look away from all that distracts and look to Jesus instead.

I think most of us want to do and be everything God intends for us, and to enjoy it along the way. Great joy comes with finishing the race God has called you to run.

Enjoy the journey and keep your eyes on the prize. One of the greatest testimonies you can have is I’m still here. When you speak those words, you are saying, “I did not quit. I did not give up. I am still here.”

Prayer Starter: Father, I thank You that, with the help of the Holy Spirit, I have staying power. I make the decision today to keep going—to never give up. Help me to run my race with perseverance and discover the joy of finishing each task well. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Blessed are the Merciful

 

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7, KJV).

If you and I have a desire to imitate God, seldom do we accomplish that purpose more than in the practice of showing mercy.

God delights in nothing more than in the exercise of showing mercy. One of the clear prerequisites to real happiness is this display of genuine mercy. Surely God has given us the supreme example, by giving His only Son to die in our place. That is mercy beyond comprehension, beyond description.

The world speaks often of having someone at its mercy. In a very real sense, God has us at His mercy – but He chose to be merciful and make a way of escape for us. The decision to take that way is ours.

To the degree that we show mercy to the poor, the wretched, the guilty – to that degree we are like God. And if He keeps us here on earth to be conformed more and more to His image, how important it is that we trust Him – by His indwelling Holy Spirit – to make us merciful.

When we do something to glorify God, like giving a cup of cold water in His name, in obedience to His commandments, and with a desire that He should be honored, He will consider it as done unto Him and reward us accordingly.

The lesson is clear: the merciful shall obtain mercy. And who among us is not a candidate for more of God’s mercy?

Bible Reading:Luke 6:31-36

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: “Dear Lord, with Your great mercy as the supreme example, I resolve to allow your Holy Spirit to show mercy through me.”

 

 

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Max Lucado – Stop Being Uneasy About Life

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Worry has more questions than answers, more work than energy, and thinks often about giving up. Not enough time…luck…credit…wisdom…intelligence…we’re running out of everything it seems, and so we worry.  But worry doesn’t work.  You can dedicate a decade of anxious thoughts to the brevity of life, and not extend it by one minute. Worry accomplishes nothing.

God doesn’t condemn legitimate concern for responsibilities but rather the continuous mind-set that dismisses God’s presence.  Destructive anxiety subtracts God from the future, tallies up the challenges of the day without entering God into the equation.  Jesus gives us this challenge:  “Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.  Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:32-33).

Read more Grace for the Moment II

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

http://www.maxlucado.com

Denison Forum – My visit to the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC

I toured the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC, yesterday.

The Museum is truly amazing. Its 430,000-square-foot building is located just three blocks from the US Capitol and has been rated one of the ten best museums in Washington.

It is an immersive experience in the history and stories of God’s word. Walking through its galleries took me back to the first century and demonstrated the impact of Scripture on humanity.

I cannot imagine a more powerful or persuasive witness at the heart of our nation’s capital.

As I toured the Museum of the Bible, I was struck by the difference one person can make. The Museum is the vision of Steve Green, the president of Hobby Lobby and son of the founder, David Green. The Green family has largely funded the $500 million project.

Every person who visits will be impacted by their faith and faithfulness to our Father.

“People are increasingly hopeless”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced yesterday that suicides and drug overdoses have driven life expectancy down in the United States. Overall, there were 2.8 million US deaths last year, nearly 70,000 more than the previous year and the most deaths in a single year since the government began counting more than a century ago.

What is driving this epidemic of drug overdoses and suicide?

Dr. William Dietz, a disease prevention expert at George Washington University: “I really do believe that people are increasingly hopeless, and that that leads to drug use, it leads potentially to suicide.”

It’s tempting to become hopeless about the hopelessness of our culture. But that’s exactly the wrong response.

From lockup to opera

Consider Ryan Speedo Green (no relation to Steve Green), a former juvenile delinquent who was incarcerated as a twelve-year-old after he pulled a knife on his mother and brother.

Continue reading Denison Forum – My visit to the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC

Charles Stanley – When God Looks on Us With Favor

 

Isaiah 66:1-2

Believers are always under the canopy of God’s grace and love. Nothing we do can change that. At the same time, our behavior and the condition of our heart do determine whether we receive the fullness of His blessings. So let’s see what Scripture teaches about how to experience the Father’s favor.

First, God desires that we have a contrite heart and humble spirit (Psalm 51:17). For that to be the case, all aspects of our life must be surrendered to Jesus. Yet some dreams, desires, and people are difficult to release into His hands. Anything we do not give over to His authority is evidence of pride, which is the exact opposite of what our Father wants in His children. Remember that “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Lack of submission proves that we think our way is better than His plan.

Second, God tells us to tremble at His Word (Isa. 66:2). Scripture—the unfolding revelation of Jesus Christ—is living and powerful to teach and transform us. Consider how we treat this treasure. Do we devote time each day to know what the Bible says and how to apply its principles? Do we hunger for more of the Word in our life so we can know its Creator better? One measure of our reverence is obedience: To honor the Lord, we must obey Him.

We all desire God’s favor. Are you living in a manner that positions you to receive the fullness of His blessing? Prayerfully consider whether you have submitted all areas of your life to Jesus Christ—from finances and health to relationships and work habits. Recognize His authority in all things, and revere His Word.

Bible in One Year: 1 Corinthians 7-10

 

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Our Daily Bread — Lord of the Moment

 

Read: 2 Kings 8:1–6 | Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 35–36; 2 Peter 1

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9

Not long ago I was working on a construction project at my son’s home three hours away. The job took days longer than expected, and each morning I prayed we would finish by sunset. But every evening there was more to be done.

I wondered why. Could there be a reason for the delay? An answer came the next morning. I was picking up a tool when my phone rang and a stranger’s voice spoke urgently: “Your daughter was injured in an accident. You need to come immediately.”

She lived near my son, so it took just fourteen minutes to reach her. If I had been home, I would have been three hours away. I followed the ambulance to the hospital and comforted her before surgery. As I sat holding her hand I realized if my project hadn’t been delayed, I wouldn’t have been there.

Our moments belong to God. This was the experience of a woman whose son God had resurrected through the prophet Elisha (2 Kings 4:18–37). She left the country because of famine and returned years later to beg the king for her land. At precisely that moment the king was conversing with the prophet’s servant Gehazi. “Just as Gehazi was telling the king how Elisha had restored” her son, the woman walked in (8:5). Her request was granted.

We don’t know what even the next second brings, but God is graciously able to use any situation for good. May God give us grace to walk with Him expectantly into His appointments for us today.

Thank You, Lord, for the gift of my life. Help me to be Your faithful servant.

Our lives are better off in God’s hands than in our own.

By James Banks

INSIGHT

Today’s text demonstrates God’s sovereignty in directing human affairs. Another example of God’s divine direction is seen in the account of Joseph (Genesis 37–41). At the end of his story, Joseph comforted his brothers who had grievously harmed him (45:5) and said, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good” (50:20 nlt).

The apostle Paul says, “In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

How do these examples help you trust God as the Lord of your moments?

  1. T. Sim

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Joyce Meyer – Avoid the Slingers

 

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. — Psalm 63:1

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

There were people in the Bible called “slingers” who defeated their enemies by slinging stones and throwing dirt into their wells, contaminating their life source of water (see 2 Kings 3:25).

We all know people who sling accusation, judgment, criticism, and faultfinding at others. We certainly don’t want slingers in our life, and we don’t want to become slingers either.

Don’t be a slinger who contaminates your own faith or the faith of those around you. Spending time with God will fill you with “living water” (see John 7:38). You will be edified and become a source of encouragement for others all day long.

Prayer Starter: Lord, I know it’s only through spending time with You that I can become a source of encouragement and blessing to others. Help me to protect this time and seek You diligently. Help me to become someone who is full of faith and who strengthens the faith of others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Just as He Promised

 

“God, who called you to become His child, will do all this for you, just as He promised” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

Have you ever substituted your own name in a promise like that? I have, and the result is staggering, overwhelming. “God, who called Bill Bright to become His child, will do all this for me, just as He promised.”

Include your name in the verse, and the effect will be the same for you. It is incredible that before the very foundation of the world God chose and called you and me to become His children. His foreknowledge makes possible many of the mysteries we puzzle over today.

Your sanctification (setting apart) – and mine – depends upon God, and since He has begun a good work in us, He will see it through to completion. God requires holiness (another word for sanctification) and He is the resource upon whom we may call for accomplishment of that requirement.

While it is true we will never be completely and totally holy in this life, it is equally true that provision is made for us to be holy. Every moment that you and I are under the control of God’s Holy Spirit, is a moment that we are holy! Looked at in that light, the task of acquiring holiness does not seem so impossible to attain.

The principle is clear: God never gives a command without the enablement to obey it.

Bible Reading:2 Thessalonians 3:3-5

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will see myself as a child of God, the beneficiary of His multitudinous blessings, capable of living a supernatural life and bearing fruit for His glory through His enablement

 

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – A Free Choice

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

We don’t like to talk about hell, do we?  In intellectual circles the topic of hell is regarded as primitive and foolish.  It’s not logical.  A loving God wouldn’t send people to hell.  So we dismiss it.

The doctrine of hell, however, is not one developed by Paul, Peter, or John.  It is taught primarily by Jesus himself.  And to dismiss it is to dismiss the presence of a loving God and the privilege of a free choice.  He leaves the choice to us.  He invites us to love him.  He urges us to love him.  He came that we might love him. To take that choice from each of us, for him to force us to love him, would be less than love.  God explains the benefits, outlines the promises, and articulates very clearly the consequences.  And then, in the end, he leaves the choice to us!

Read more Grace for the Moment II

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

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Denison Forum – Twitter blocks writer for saying ‘men aren’t women’

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist who podcasts and writes about feminist issues. She was recently blocked from Twitter for questioning the validity of transgenderism.

In her response, she notes that “Twitter knowingly permits graphic pornography and death threats on the platform (I have reported countless violent threats, the vast majority of which have gone unaddressed), [but] they won’t allow me to state very basic facts, such as ‘men aren’t women.’”

She adds: “This is hardly an abhorrent thing to say, nor should it be considered ‘hateful’ to ask questions about the notion that people can change sex, or ask for explanations about transgender ideology.”

Here’s her problem: Twitter has changed its rules to ban “misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.” For those (like me) who didn’t know what these offenses are: “misgendering” is using a pronoun that contradicts a person’s perceived gender identity, while “deadnaming” means using a person’s “birth name” rather than the name they now prefer.

For instance, if I send a tweet describing Caitlyn Jenner as “him” rather than “her” or refer to this person as “Bruce,” I risk being blocked by Twitter.

Man disrobes in women’s locker room

In light of Twitter’s decision to enforce LGBTQ ideology, the following story, if posted on my Twitter account, could cause my expulsion.

Ben Shapiro is a popular conservative writer and Orthodox Jew. A fellow congregant told him that many of the women in their congregation exercise at a female-only gym for modesty purposes.

However, this month, a transgender woman–“a biological male who suffers from gender dysphoria,” as Shapiro describes the person–came to the gym.

This person, who retains his male biological characteristics, walked into the locker room and proceeded to disrobe. When management told him that he could use a private dressing room, he refused, announcing that he was a woman and could disrobe in front of the other women.

Continue reading Denison Forum – Twitter blocks writer for saying ‘men aren’t women’

Charles Stanley – A Person of Godly Influence

 

Daniel 1:1-21

When Daniel was taken to Babylon, he had no idea God would give him an ever-widening sphere of influence. So what made him different from the other captives from Israel? His godly influence flowed from his strong beliefs based in Scripture.

Commitment. Daniel did not simply know God’s law; he was convinced there was no other way to live. When tested, he remained unswervingly faithful to God and His Word, because he considered obedience non-negotiable.

Following God doesn’t mean living out biblical principles only when it’s convenient or easy. Obedience is to be our consistent lifestyle no matter what the circumstances are. Without a firm commitment to our beliefs, we’ll waver back and forth, be a poor witness, and eventually give in to temptation.

Courage. As a captive, Daniel had no authority. Therefore, approaching the king’s chief official for special dietary consideration required courage. Although he had no way to know the outcome, Daniel didn’t let fear dominate his emotions. He simply trusted the Lord and spoke out.

God rewarded Daniel’s faithfulness with superior knowledge, wisdom, and understanding of all kinds, which resulted in his gaining greater influence in the Babylonian and Persian empires. Because of Daniel’s commitment to God and his courage in standing firm, his godly impact extended for many years.

The Lord doesn’t raise all believers to high positions of influence. But He wants to use each of us to impact others for Christ in whatever sphere of influence He’s given us. Therefore, we too need commitment to God’s Word, the courage to obey, and the confidence to trust the Lord with the outcome.

Bible in One Year: 1 Corinthians 4-6

 

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Our Daily Bread — A Solid Foundation

 

Read: Matthew 7:24–27 | Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 33–34; 1 Peter 5

Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. Matthew 7:24

Last summer my husband and I toured Fallingwater, a house in rural Pennsylvania designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1935. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. Wright wanted to create a home that rose organically out of the landscape, as if it could have grown there—and he accomplished his goal. He built the house around an existing waterfall, and its style mirrors the neighboring rock ledges. Our tour guide explained what made the construction safe: “The whole vertical core of the house,” she said, “rests on boulders.”

Hearing her words, I couldn’t help but think of Jesus’s words to His disciples. During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told them that what He was teaching would be the sure foundation for their lives. If they heard His words and put them into practice, they would be able to withstand any storms. Those who heard but didn’t obey, in contrast, would be like a house built on sand (Matthew 7:24–27). Later, Paul echoed this thought, writing that Christ is the foundation, and we must build upon it with work that will endure (1 Corinthians 3:11).

When we listen to the words of Jesus and obey them, we’re building our lives on a steady, rock-solid foundation. Maybe our lives can look a little like Fallingwater, beautiful and built to last on the Rock.

God, help us to hear and obey the words of Jesus!

What are you building your life around?

By Amy Peterson

INSIGHT

In Matthew 7:24–27, Jesus says following His teachings is wise and prudent, for they are the foundation on which a full and healthy life is built. He makes this statement after giving the Sermon on the Mount, which contains what has been considered by some the most difficult and stringent guidelines for life. But we aren’t left to live this life on our own; we are dependent on the Spirit. These requirements extend beyond actions and into the thoughts and attitudes. A person who honors God with his or her whole life will remain steady in the storms of life (vv. 24–25).

J.R. Hudberg

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Power, Truth, and Beauty

Whether in conversations with Christians, skeptics, or firm-believers of other religions, the issue of truth is often in the forefront of my mind. As I engage with questioners who want to know how I can trust the Bible, or how anyone could believe the resurrection was an actual event, or how on earth a man who lived two millennia ago could have anything to do with us today, the question that comes to mind as I listen is similar to theirs, yet asked with the wonder of a witness: Is it true? Can it be true that God has come so near, that Christ is so loving, that God reigns and has opened wide the doors to the kingdom? Can it be true that the power of the gospel is such that I can be called a witness? It is an inquiry that orients me as I engage in conversations that otherwise reduce matters of faith and religion to personal preference.

Is it true? In fact, even Jesus in his conversation with Pilate couched his identity in the authority of truth: “You are right in saying that I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me” (John 18:37). In our current religious context, where preference and choice are often played as trump cards, reintroducing truth as a category is often necessary.

And yet, communicating the gospel isn’t only about communicating the truth. This is not to say, of course, that the gospel is untrue or that truth is not one of the most significant factors in my decision to follow Christ. Far from this, the truth of the gospel is indeed one of the reasons why I believe it is good news. But it is Christ himself who is in fact the news! Whether the apostle Paul was wearing the hat of preacher, prisoner, nurse, or mentor, the content of his message was always Christ; he knew that even truth can be made an idol if lifted above Christ himself. In fact, the most distinctive quality of Paul’s ministry is that he believed himself a witness standing at the scene of God’s kingdom testifying to all that he saw—not a detective or prosecutor or whistle-blower trying to expose the truth at all costs.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Power, Truth, and Beauty

Joyce Meyer – Determine Your Priorities

 

You shall have no other gods before me.  — Exodus 20:3

Adapted from the resource Power Thoughts Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

The best way to determine if God is first in your life is to slow down and ask yourself some simple questions: What do I think about the most? What do I pray and talk about the most? What do I do with my time?

You see, we always make time for what we really want to do—no matter how busy we are. If you want to spend time with God, then you are going to make Him a priority.

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you where your priorities are out of line. Then allow His conviction to motivate you to seek a deeper relationship with God. It is God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, Who will give you the ability to adjust your lifestyle and bring it in line with the Word (see 1 Thessalonians 5:23 NLT).

If you truly want Him to, He will enable you to put God first in your thoughts, conversations, and actions. You may need to make some changes in your schedule, but they will be ones that will produce good results.

Prayer Starter: Lord, I want to put You first in my life. Help me to prioritize my schedule and make the necessary changes to spend more time with You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Does the Work

 

“And I am sure the God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in His grace until His task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns” (Philippians 1:6).

Howard was adamant in his conviction. “I would never lead anyone to Christ that I could not personally follow up to be sure he matures and grows and becomes all that God wants him to be.”

“Since when did you assume the responsibility of the Holy Spirit?” I asked.

Obviously, we are to do everything we can to help a new believer grow to maturity in Christ – by teaching him to trust God, study His word, pray, live a holy life, and share his faith with others. But no matter how much we do, it is the Holy Spirit who helps the new believer come to Christ, and who illumines his heart with the Word. The Holy Spirit teaches us how to pray and empowers us to witness. In fact, there would be no supernatural life apart from the Holy Spirit.

Paradoxically, you and I can be confident, yet humble, when we think of all that we are, and all that we have in Christ, and realize that we are not responsible for any of it, but it is something which God has given us according to His grace. My only boast is in God, His Son Jesus Christ and His indwelling Holy Spirit. How can I boast of my abilities and achievements, when it is the Giver alone who is worthy of all honor and praise? The apostle Paul had the strong conviction that the work God had begun in the believer would be permanent. All events that transpire in our lives, all influences, heartaches, testings and sorrows, as well as all of the blessings, are designed to conform us to the image of Christ.

Bible Reading:1 Corinthians 1:4-9

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: God, who saved me, continues to work in my life, conforming me to the image of Christ. Therefore, I will continue to trust and obey Him, as I draw upon His supernatural resources

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – You Can’t Affect God’s Love

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

The supreme surprise of God’s love?  It has nothing to do with you. Others love you because of you, because your dimples dip when you smile or your rhetoric charms when you flirt.  Some people love you because of you.  Not God.  He loves you because he is He.  He loves you because he decides to.  Self-generated, uncaused, and spontaneous, his constant-level love depends on his choice to give it.

Deuteronomy 7:7-8 says, “The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.  But it was because the LORD loved you.” You don’t influence God’s love.  You can’t impact the tree-ness of a tree, the sky-ness of the sky or the rock-ness of a rock. Nor can you affect the love of God.

Read more Grace for the Moment II

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

http://www.maxlucado.com

Denison Forum – Are “designer babies” here?

It sounds like the plot of a bad science-fiction movie: a renegade scientist violates global moral standards to engineer a new breed of humans. But that’s what has happened, if a Chinese scientist is to be believed.

He Jiankui, a researcher with a PhD from Rice University and postdoctoral training at Stanford, announced this week that he has created the world’s first genetically edited babies. The twin girls were born this month.

However, Dr. He did not publish his research in any journal or share any evidence or data to prove his claims. He spoke today at the Human Genome Editing Summit in Hong Kong, where he announced another “potential pregnancy” involved in his study. He said he felt “proud” of his work in the face of nearly universal condemnation.

“I think that’s completely insane”

Dr. He states that the father of the twins has HIV. As a result, Dr. He used a genetic editing technique known as CRISPR/Cas-9 to disable the embryos’ CCR5 gene to make them resistant to HIV infection.

However, there are other ways to produce embryos from HIV-infected men without altering their genes. An HIV expert said that about half of HIV strains don’t need the gene Dr. He edited to infect patients, meaning the immunity he tried to confer is not complete. A gene-editing expert warned that people without normal CCR5 genes face higher risks of getting certain other viruses such as West Nile and of dying from the flu.

Many scientists are appalled by this announcement. “I think that’s completely insane,” said Shoukhrat Mitalipov, director of the Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy at Oregon Health and Science University.

Continue reading Denison Forum – Are “designer babies” here?

Charles Stanley – The Influence of Our Convictions

 

2 Timothy 1:8-14

We usually think of influential people as those who have authority, position, or power in the world, but in reality, we all have influence to one degree or another. The term describes the capacity to have an effect on someone else’s character, development, or behavior.

This is exactly what Christ has called believers to do by proclaiming the gospel and encouraging one another in the faith. However, in order to have a godly impact on others, we must first be convinced that the Bible is true. Then as we grow in knowledge of the truth, we can help others know Jesus, understand scriptural principles, and live obediently by them.

Paul advised Timothy to “retain the standard of sound words” in the faith (2 Timothy 1:13), and these same truths have been delivered to us.

  1. The Bible is the inspired, infallible Word of God. There are no mistakes in it, and it is wholly true (2 Timothy 3:16; John 17:17).
  2. There is one God, and He exists in three persons. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all members of the triune Godhead (Matt. 28:19).
  3. Eternal life is received only through faith in Jesus. Salvation cannot be earned by good works (John 14:6; Eph. 2:8-9).
  4. Jesus will one day return for those who believe in Him, and He’ll take them to heaven (John 14:2-3). But unbelievers will remain under divine wrath.

As the culture around us becomes more resistant to Christian influence, holding to these convictions will require solid commitment and steady courage. So determine not to let compromise steal your godly influence.

Bible in One Year: 1 Corinthians 1-3

 

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