Charles Stanley –Togetherness in the Body

 

1 Corinthians 1:10-11

Today’s passage comes from a letter Paul wrote to the divided body of Corinthian believers. That church was allowing a disagreement to hinder their fellowship. Paul knew the steep danger of dissension among believers.

Scripture is clear about the church’s mission. Some of its highest goals include sharing the gospel with all nations, caring for those in need, and worshipping together, along with loving, encouraging, and admonishing one another in God’s truth. Each of these requires the members of a church to be unified.

God wants His people to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace” (Eph. 4:3 NIV). So if all Christians base their beliefs on the Bible, they should be able to settle every argument according to its truth, right?

Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Our human nature, preferences, and different interpretations of Scripture can cause disagreements. Consider, for example, how many churches have strife over music styles.

Tragically, when differences are divisive, our mission becomes blurred and we are ineffective. Just as fishermen cannot catch fish with a broken net, we are unable to effectively share Jesus with the world when our fellowship is not intact.

Are your actions and words strengthening your fellow Christians? Or do you gossip, express negativity, and push for your own preferences and opinions? Be careful. God wants our conduct to positively impact the church’s unity. This is essential if we are to accomplish His purpose.

Bible in One Year: John 10-11

 

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Our Daily Bread — Still the King

 

Read: Psalm 74:4–8, 12–23 | Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 32–33; Hebrews 1

Rise up, O God, and defend your cause.  Psalm 74:22

One news report called it “the single deadliest day for Christians in decades.” The pair of attacks on Sunday worshipers in April 2017 defies our understanding. We simply don’t have a category to describe bloodshed in a house of worship. But we can find some help from others who know this kind of pain well.

Most of the people of Jerusalem were in exile or had been slain when Asaph wrote Psalm 74. Pouring out his heart’s anguish, he described the destruction of the temple at the hands of ruthless invaders. “Your foes roared in the place where you met with us,” Asaph said (v. 4). “They burned your sanctuary to the ground; they defiled the dwelling place of your Name” (v. 7).

Yet the psalmist found a place to stand despite the awful reality—providing encouragement that we can do so too. “But God is my King from long ago,” Asaph resolved. “He brings salvation on the earth” (v. 12). This truth enabled Asaph to praise God’s mighty power even though His salvation seemed absent in the moment. “Have regard for your covenant,” Asaph prayed. “Do not let the oppressed retreat in disgrace; may the poor and needy praise your name” (vv. 20–21).

When justice and mercy seem absent, God’s love and power are in no way diminished. With Asaph, we can confidently say, “But God is my King.”

Lord, with the psalmist we pray for the honor of Your Name. Show Yourself strong and compassionate. Rise up and defend Your cause.

God will defend His Name.

By Tim Gustafson

INSIGHT

As the author of Psalm 74, Asaph helped Israel mourn the destruction of their temple by the Babylonians in 586 bc. Little did he know that someday his song would find an echo in an even more confusing loss. According to the New Testament, a greater temple of God (John 2:20–21) was nailed to a tree. This time, God Himself bore the loss. Where are we in the story?

Mart DeHaan

 

 

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Joyce Meyer – Every Day Is Thanksgiving

 

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! —Psalm 95:2

Thanksgiving is not just a day to eat turkey and pumpkin pie. It was a day originally set aside to remember and give thanks to God for what He had done in protecting the first men and women who came to America, fleeing religious persecution in Europe. It was a type of harvest celebration like the one that the Jews celebrated; a day to give thanks for the crops they were able to harvest.

In addition to thanking God as we go through life, it is also a good idea to set aside special times of gratitude and giving thanks.

Sometimes our family sits together and remembers where God has brought us from, and we thank Him for all He has done. Dave and I talk about our life when our children were all young and we lived in a tiny three-room apartment and had to cash in soda pop bottles to make it through until payday.

I am sure you can recall times similar to those we had, and remembering them makes us thankful for how God brought us through them, and for all the progress we have made by His goodness.

Prayer of Thanks: Father, help me to realize that Thanksgiving is more than just a day on the calendar. I am grateful for all You have done in my life, not just today, but every day of the year.

 

 

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Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Prayer Has Great Power

 

“Admit your faults to one another and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous man has great power and wonderful results” (James 5:16).

“I can take my telescope and look millions and millions of miles into space,” said the great scientist Sir Issac Newton , “but I can lay it aside and go into my room, shut the door, get down on my knees in earnest prayer, and see more of heaven and get closer to God than I can assisted by all the telescopes and material agencies on earth.”

Among many other things, the carnal Christian is characterized by a poor prayer life. The spiritual Christian, on the other hand, is characterized by an effective fruitful prayer life.

Prayer is simply communicating with God by listening as well as talking. The acrostic ACTS is helpful in recalling the various components of effective prayer, though the order is not necessarily rigid.

“A” is for adoration – worship of God, first for who He is; and second for all of His benefits. He alone is worthy of our adoration and praise.

“C” stands for confession. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Sometimes this component should take priority, especially for the unbeliever and the disobedient believer, because God does not hear the prayers of the disobedient until they confess. “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalms 66:18, KJV).

“T” is for thanksgiving – gratitude to God for His blessings.

“S” represents supplication – expressing our petitions to God for individuals and specific things and events.

Bible Reading:James 5:13-18

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will claim great power and wonderful results for supernatural living by a righteous life and by giving priority to prayer. I will remember to bring my adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication to God throughout the day

 

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