Charles Stanley – Growing From Our Hurts

 

Genesis 50:15-21

Throughout history, people have suffered tremendous injustice and pain at the hands of others. None of us are exempt from conflict, criticism, and mistreatment. The question is, Are we growing more or less like Christ as a result?

Nothing that happens in our lives is an accident. As children of God, we know that everything coming our way is filtered through our Father’s loving, sovereign hands. And He can use whatever we experience to grow us in grace and holiness—yes, even injustice and abuse.

Joseph endured more unfair treatment than most of us can even imagine: He was sold into slavery by his brothers, slandered by Potiphar’s wife, and forgotten in prison. For years, it seemed that no good would ever result, but there was divine purpose in it all. Joseph learned more about God’s ways and was also being trained for the future.

The same is true for each of us. The Lord doesn’t want us to focus on the wrongs done to us and the pain we’ve suffered. Instead, He wants us to keep our eyes fixed on Him. As we read God’s Word, He reveals His ways and purposes, giving us guidance to walk with Him and patience to wait for His timing. And His indwelling Holy Spirit enables us to respond in a godly manner by forgiving those who wrong us.

Think about Joseph’s words to his brothers: “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Gen. 50:20). Remember, that is true in your life also. The pain you carry can be used for good if you’ll forgive your offenders and trust the Lord’s ways.

Bible in One Year: John 8-9

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — See Your City

 

Read: Genesis 12:1–3 | Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 30–31; Philemon

All peoples on earth will be blessed through you. Genesis 12:3

“See our city the way we do.” A Detroit, Michigan, urban development group used that slogan to launch its vision for the city’s future. But the project came to a sudden stop when members of the community noticed something missing in the campaign. African Americans make up a large majority of the city’s population and workforce. Yet people of color were absent from the crowd of white faces that showed up on signs, banners, and billboards urging all to see the city as they did.

The countrymen of Jesus also had a blind spot in their vision for the future. As children of Abraham, they were primarily concerned about the future of Jewish people. They couldn’t understand Jesus’s concern for Samaritans, Roman soldiers, or anyone else who didn’t share their family roots, rabbis, or temple worship.

I relate to the blind spots of Detroit and Jerusalem. I too tend to see only people whose life experience I understand. Yet God has a way of bringing about His unity amid our diversity. We’re more alike than we realize.

Our God chose a desert nomad by the name of Abram to bring blessing to all the people of the world (Genesis 12:1–3). Jesus knows and loves everyone we don’t yet know or love. Together we live by the grace and mercy of One who can help us see one another, our cities, and His kingdom—as He does.

Father in heaven, please open our eyes to people and hearts who are more like us than we are inclined to believe. Help us see our own need of You.

Everyone everywhere is more like us than less like us.

By Mart DeHaan

INSIGHT

Abram, Nahor, and Haran (the father of Lot) were the sons of Terah. The brothers grew up in Ur of the Chaldeans (Genesis 11:27–28), which archaeologists have revealed to be a flourishing city in its day. Haran died, and sometime later Abram married Sarai. Then Terah, Abram, Sarai, and Lot left Ur bound for Canaan. On the way, the group settled in Harran where Terah later died (vv. 31–32). Although God’s call to Abram to “go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you” isn’t recorded until Genesis 12:1, Abram received this call earlier while still in Ur (see Acts 7:2–4). That’s why the family initially starts out for Canaan (Genesis 11:31). It’s believed the group stalled in Harran because Terah, who was named after the moon deity worshiped in Ur, may have had trouble leaving behind his idolatrous past (see Joshua 24:2). What’s most important is that Abram heard God’s call, left the familiar behind, and obeyed. “Abram went” (Genesis 12:4), and through him “all peoples on earth [would] be blessed” (v. 3).

Alyson Kieda

 

http://www.odb.org

Every Man Ministry – The Sword

 


“The word of God is living and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrew 4:12)

Roman soldiers exercised and trained heavily with the sword. More specifically, they were trained to thrust the sword versus cut with it.  In fact, they made fun of those who preferred the cut to the thrust, and they relished a battle of styles.

The sword was the Roman soldier’s primary offensive weapon.  He trained with it more than any other and learned how to wield it lethally.  A thrust accomplished the job, where cutting gave the enemy a second chance.  The author of Hebrews shows that he also was intimate with a sword and how the sword of God’s man is best welded in battle.

There’s a compare and contrast going on here between only grazing evil and killing it with a deep penetration of the Word into the heart.  More profoundly, the end result of a strong thrust of God’s Word is a judgment. That is what God’s man is after in his fights with deception, temptation, and accusation on a personal level.  And that is what he’s after in a direct confrontation with evil.

A Roman soldier would move to parry a blow with his shield, create space and then step and thrust his sword strategically into the flesh of his enemy. Similarly, God’s man defends himself by moving into a blow with the shield of his faith, positioning the sword of God’s Word, and thrusting it into the heart of evil.
Father, thank you for giving me your word, and showing me how to use it.

 

The post November 3, 2018 appeared first on Every Man Ministries.

 

Joyce Meyer – Get Up and Get Going

 

I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping…Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping. — Psalm 6:6,8

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

Even before we are totally awake, Satan is bidding to deceive us and is ready to plant defeating thoughts in our mind. He wants us to be hopeless, faithless, and negative.

He definitely doesn’t want us to be positive when we get up. He wants us to have a bad attitude and be selfish and self-centered, full of hatred, bitterness, resentment, doubt, unbelief, and fear—to be mad at everybody.

But thank God, through Jesus Christ, we have been redeemed from all of those negative patterns. We can resist Satan and trust God’s power in or­der to live victoriously today.

Prayer Starter: Father, this is the day You have made! Help me to approach it with a positive attitude, full of faith and hope, knowing You have great things in store. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Welcomes You

 

“Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30, KJV).

Several years ago I had the privilege of meeting with a world-famous theologian. This great scholar had denied the deity of Christ and had taught thousands of seminarians who had studied under him that Jesus was only a great man and a great teacher. He was not God incarnate, and surely could not forgive sin and provide rest to His followers. Yet, in a unique way God had created a hunger in his heart for truth and for two years he had done an in-depth study of the life of Jesus.

As we met together in his office, he asked, “What do you tell a student when he asks you how to become a Christian?”

When I realized he was sincere, I proceeded to explain why I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God and why all men everywhere need Him as their Savior and Lord, and how anyone who wants to can receive Him.

“I am persuaded,” he said after a long while, “that no honest person who is willing to consider the overwhelming evidence for the deity of Christ can deny that He is the Son of God.”

This great scholar, who had denied the deity of Christ all his life and encouraged millions of others to think likewise, bowed in prayer and received Christ into his life as Savior and Lord.

Jesus Christ stands out clearly as the one supernaturally unique figure in all of history. He is incomparable. He invites all who will to experience His love and forgiveness. “Come unto Me.” He welcomes “all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest…My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Bible Reading:Matthew 11:23-27

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Through the enabling of the Holy Spirit, I will seek to make sure that every loved one, every friend, every contact I make today is fully aware of the fact that God loves him, that Jesus Christ died for him and will welcome him into His family through a simple act of faith. I will tell him that He offers peace and rest – from life’s burdens – to all who follow Him in faith and obedience

 

http://www.cru.org