Charles Stanley – Devoted to Prayer

 

Colossians 4:2-4

No matter where we are in our Christian walk, most of us will admit that our prayer life isn’t what we’d like it to be. Our attempts to make room for prayer in our busy schedules are often short-lived. And when we do manage to spend time with the Lord, we find ourselves easily distracted by random thoughts, our own desires, and the demands of the day.

Instead of giving up in frustration and settling for a sporadic devotional experience, we need to realize that prayer was essential to Christ and should be to us also. The road to a deepening prayer life begins with a commitment to make it a top priority in our day.

We follow through by setting aside a daily time to pray and read from God’s Word. Then we need to find a location that minimizes interruptions. Since we’re already busy, sacrifice may be necessary to make this happen. We might have to wake up earlier, give up a favorite activity, or use our lunch hour.

Scripture is a key factor because it teaches us about our Father’s character, promises, and priorities. The Word of God shifts our thoughts from worldly cares and pleasures to a focus on Him. Through it, we are reminded of His importance to us and our desire to please Him. Then we become ready to ask in accordance with His will and hear what He has to say.

Developing a habit of prayer may require sacrifice, but it’s worth the cost and effort. Spending time in the Lord’s presence is the best way for us to know Him better and love Him more.

Bible in One Year: Acts 1-2

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — What We Can Do

 

Read: Philippians 2:1–11 | Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 46–47; Hebrews 6

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. Philippians 2:5

Even though confined to his bed, 92-year-old Morrie Boogaart knit hats for the homeless in Michigan. He had reportedly made more than 8,000 hats in fifteen years. Instead of focusing on his health or limitations, Mr. Boogaart looked beyond himself and did what he could to place the needs of others above his own. He declared that his work made him feel good and gave him a purpose. He said, “I’m going to do this until I go home to the Lord”—which happened in February 2018. Though most recipients of his hats won’t know his story or how much he sacrificed to create each cap, Morrie’s simple act of persevering love is now inspiring people across the world.

We too can look past our struggles, place others before ourselves, and imitate our loving and compassionate Savior, Jesus Christ (Philippians 2:1–5). God in the flesh—the King of Kings—took on the “very nature of a servant” in genuine humility (vv. 6–7). Giving His life—the ultimate sacrifice—He took our place on the cross (v. 8). Jesus gave everything for us . . . all for the glory of God the Father (vv. 9–11).

As believers in Jesus, it’s our privilege to show love and demonstrate concern for others through acts of kindness. Even if we don’t think we have much to offer, we can adopt the attitude of servanthood. We can actively seek opportunities to make a difference in people’s lives by simply doing what we can.

We can model Christ’s love by doing what we can to serve others.

By Xochitl Dixon

INSIGHT

Before pointing to Christ Jesus—the supreme example of humility and selfless service-Paul exhorts believers to humbly serve the interests of others (Philippians 2:1-5). Previously Paul had instructed believers about the responsibilities of their heavenly citizenship (1:27). Gospel-worthy living finds expression in the context of worldly opposition (vv. 28-30) and among believers who share the blessings of a common spiritual union (2:1).

Arthur Jackson

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Curiosity and the Current Scandal

In an interview with Mars Hill Review producer Ken Myers, historian John Lukacs spoke of what surprised him most when he first arrived in America to teach at the university. He noticed in the students he taught a total lack of curiosity—and he claims it has only gotten worse. Anything we learn, says Lukacs, is compelled by the curiosity which first caused us to pursue it, to follow a topic where it leads, and in so doing, find out how very little we know.(1) This principle is highlighted in the French 16th century term for an intellectual historian. Such a scholar was called a “curieux,” notes Lukacs. That is, one who is curious.

Sometimes I wonder if curiosity has been replaced by a fascination with the current scandal, gossip, or mystery plastered about the media. Television ratings remind us that there is always something fantastic about a new revelation, a long-lost document, or some controversial new evidence. We are quickly pulled in by the promise of a scandal. We are easily taken with a good mystery. And we are compelled to be up on the latest public frenzy. But I’m afraid such fascination shows not an attitude of curiosity towards knowledge, but an attitude of passivity that is always waiting to be shown the next new thing.

It is not surprising then to watch whatever latest media revelation become a public fascination. Such was the case with James Cameron’s documentary called “The Lost Tomb of Jesus,” as he claimed there was new evidence that a tomb in Jerusalem held the remains of Jesus, his wife, and their son. “It doesn’t get bigger than this,” Cameron said at the press release. “We’ve done our homework; we’ve made the case; and now it’s time for the debate to begin.”(2) The foundations of Christianity were hardly devastated, as some of the headlines promised. But the heads of the masses were indeed turned, if only for a moment. Before the premiere of the documentary, the film’s companion book jumped to the top five best selling books online. The coming and going of May 21, 2011 and Harold Camping’s failed prediction of the end of the world presently holds a similar attention. Searches related to his false predictions have been top trends on both Google and Twitter since Saturday. Not surprising, many are using the story as further reason to laugh off religion in general.(3)

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Joyce Meyer – Watch for the “Suddenlies”

 

…We will not all sleep [in death], but we will all be [completely] changed [wondrously transformed], in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at [the sound of] the last trumpet call… — 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 (AMP)

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

We all like “suddenlies,” and as we draw closer to the end times, the Bible promises us a “season of suddenlies.” When Jesus returns to earth for you, you will be changed, transformed “in the twinkling of an eye”—in other words, suddenly.

You don’t have to be discouraged in your walk with God, because no matter what remains to be done in the transformation of your old man into your new man, it will be accomplished suddenly—at the appearing of Jesus in the heavenlies.

If Satan tries to tell you you’re going to stay the way you are forever, he is lying. God is even now in the process of changing you from glory to glory, and whatever remains to be changed in you, He will one day do suddenly.

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for working in my life and changing me from glory to glory. Help me to expect Your goodness today and every day. Help me to put my hope in You and expect Your “suddenlies” in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Chosen to be Glorified

 

“And having chosen us, He called us to come to Him; and when we came, He declared us ‘not guilty,’ filled us with Christ’s goodness, gave us right standing with Himself, and promised us His glory” (Romans 8:30).

A famous Christian leader insisted to me that anyone could lose his salvation. I asked him if he felt that he would ever lose his. Quickly, he replied, “Absolutely not. I am sure I will not lose my salvation.”

Can we lose our salvation? Personally, I believe there is too much controversy over this issue. Some fear that the individual who has assurance of salvation and knows that he will spend eternity with God might have a tendency to compromise his conduct, which would result in disobedience to God and would be an insult to Christ and His church. Others think that the individual who does not live like a Christian – although he professes faith in Christ – has never experienced the new birth, does not have eternal life and will be forever separated from God.

It is quite likely that the person who insists on “doing his own thing” – going his own way while professing to be a Christian – is deceived and should be encouraged to look into the mirror of God’s Word. For if his salvation is real, the evidence should proclaim it.

The caterpillar which goes through a metamorphosis to become a butterfly, lives like a butterfly, not a caterpillar. In the same way, the man or woman who has experienced new life in Christ will witness to it in his life.

Our beginning Scripture deals with seven marvelous truths:

  1. He chose us.
  2. He called us.
  3. We came.
  4. He declared us not guilty.
  5. He filled us with Christ’s goodness.
  6. He gave us a right standing with Himself.
  7. He promised us His glory.

For centuries, man has been mystified by predestination and eternal security. One famous theologian put it this way: “How would it be a source of consolation to say…that whom God foreknew, He predestinated, and whom he predestinated, He called, and whom He called, He justified, and whom He justified might fall away and be lost forever?”

We should praise and worship God because of His promises to all who receive Him that He will never leave them nor forsake them (Hebrews 13:5).

Bible Reading:Ephesians 1:3-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will meditate upon the truths in this marvelous Word from God. And as an expression of my gratitude for the privilege of living a supernatural life, I will praise and thank God constantly for His goodness and will encourage other believers to do the same

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Go With Your Heart to the Cross

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Tears represent the heart, the spirit, and the soul of a person.  To put a lock and key on your emotions is to bury part of your Christlikeness! Especially when you come to Calvary.

You can’t go to the cross with just your head and not your heart.  It doesn’t work that way.  Calvary is not a mental trip.  It’s not an intellectual exercise.  It’s not a divine calculation or a cold theological principle. It’s a heart-splitting hour of emotion.

Don’t walk away dry-eyed and unstirred.  Don’t just straighten your tie and clear your throat. Don’t descend Calvary cool and collected.  Please. . .pause.  Look again. Those are nails in those hands.  That’s God on that cross.  It’s us who put him there!  No wonder they call him the Savior!

Read more Grace for the Moment II

 

http://www.maxlucado.com

Denison Forum – “Liberal icon” fractures 3 ribs in fall

Take my ribs, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.” This is how many across the nation have responded to the news that the longtime Supreme Court justice fell in her office Wednesday evening, breaking three ribs. Others have been less charitable.

Justice Ginsburg is a metaphor for American culture. How you reacted to the news of her accident likely reveals your position on today’s highly partisan political spectrum.

“A flaming feminist litigator”

Justice Ginsburg was one of nine women in her class at Harvard Law School. She was the first woman to become a tenured professor at Columbia University Law School and the co-founder of the Women’s Rights Project at the ACLU. As the leader of this project, she successfully argued six landmark cases before the Supreme Court.

President Clinton nominated her to the Supreme Court in 1993; the Senate confirmed her by a ninety-six to three vote. Since that time, she has gained a reputation for personal fortitude. She has yet to miss a day of oral arguments, even while undergoing chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer, recovering from surgery for colon cancer, and grieving the death of her husband in 2010.

Ginsburg has become a “liberal icon” who describes herself as “a flaming feminist litigator.” Her criticism of Donald Trump during the presidential campaign drew applause from his critics and censure from his supporters.

One of the gravest challenges we face

It is tempting to view today’s polarization of the Supreme Court as a necessary reflection of the polarization of our nation. Since we are divided between “red” and “blue” states, rural and urban, liberals and conservatives, it seems fitting that our justices reflect such division. And it seems appropriate that the president should be able to make judicial nominations consistent with his political position since he was elected by the will of the people.

Continue reading Denison Forum – “Liberal icon” fractures 3 ribs in fall