Charles Stanley – The Spirit of the Antichrist

 

1 John 4:1-6

In the church, the word antichrist usually calls to mind the prophesied leader in power during the tribulation. But in the Bible, it more often refers to an anti-Christ spirit—in other words, demonic forces opposed to truth. Examples include false teachers (1 Timothy 4:1) and the negative influence of the world (see 1 Corinthians 2:12). John urged his readers to stand against enemies of the faith by using scriptural principles to evaluate their words and actions.

We are living in an “enlightened” age—or at least people think we are. Anyone with an opinion and a platform is welcome to share his or her version of truth. Subtly false messages come from places we might not expect, such as the business world, the entertainment industry, or the media. We could be tempted to think that these venues are separate from our faith. But just as our beliefs are to impact every aspect of our being, so a bit of poison injected into our professional life or leisure pursuits can contaminate other areas.

Believers, therefore, must be aware of the type of information and attitudes that enter the mind. We need a discerning spirit so we can look past a speaker’s charisma and eloquence and be able to rightly assess the message. But we will recognize an anti-Christ attitude only if we have a heart full of Scripture against which to compare it.

Your local bank tellers know when a counterfeit bill comes their way because they’ve memorized the details of a real dollar. In the same way, believers with sound biblical knowledge will recognize and discard an anti-Christ message or attitude when it reaches their ears.

Bible in One Year: Acts 18-20

 

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Power of Touch

 

Read: Mark 1:40–45 | Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 5–7; Hebrews 12

Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. Mark 1:41 nlt

Dr. Paul Brand, twentieth-century pioneer medical missionary to India, saw firsthand the stigma associated with leprosy. During an appointment, he touched a patient to reassure him treatment was possible. Tears began to stream down the man’s face. An attendant explained the tears to Dr. Brand, saying, “You touched him and no one has done that for years. They are tears of joy.”

Early in His ministry, Jesus was approached by a man with leprosy, an ancient label for all types of infectious skin diseases. Because of his disease the man was required by the Old Testament law to live outside his community. If the sick man accidentally found himself in close proximity to healthy people, he had to call out, “Unclean! Unclean!” so they could avoid him (Leviticus 13:45–46). As a result, the man may have gone months or years without human contact.

Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. Jesus had the power and authority to heal people with just a word (Mark 2:11–12). But as Jesus encountered a man whose physical illness left him feeling isolated and rejected, His touch assured the man that he was not alone but accepted.

As God gives us opportunities, we can extend grace and show compassion with a gentle touch that conveys dignity and value. The simple, healing power of human touch goes a long way to remind hurting people of our care and concern.

Lord Jesus, thank You for the personal way You reached out to care for hurting people. Help me to follow Your example and extend compassion in my actions.

Caring for others may include a compassionate touch.

By Lisa Samra

INSIGHT

After Jesus healed the leper, why did He warn him not to tell anyone? (Mark 1:44). The Scriptures don’t reveal Jesus’s motive, but what follows could provide a hint: “But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing.” The first priority was to show himself to the priest. Why? In ancient Israel, leprosy was seen as a physical disease with spiritual implications. Therefore, when the first symptoms were experienced, the afflicted person would go to the priest—not the doctor—to be diagnosed (Leviticus 13). If cleansing took place, the priest would need to confirm that healing. Additionally, the priest was required to offer a specific and unusually detailed sacrifice after a leper was cleansed (Leviticus 14). In the entire Old Testament there are only two recorded healings of lepers-Miriam (Numbers 12:10–15) and Naaman the Syrian (2 Kings 5:1–14), and in neither case does the Scripture record that this specific, detailed sacrifice was made. Therefore, it’s quite possible that the first time this specific sacrifice was offered was in response to the healing described in Mark. But first the leper must “show [himself] to the priest” to have his healing confirmed.

Bill Crowder

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Streams in the Desert for Kids – No Stress

 

2 Corinthians 1:8–9

Today we call pressure stress. You hear many people talking about stress. Stress can be bad if all we do is worry. It can be good if it pushes us toward the only One who has answers for our stress—God our Father.

Once a stressful situation has passed, you come out of it with the ability to help other people. Think about the last time you had to study for a hard test. You probably felt pressure until you finished the test. But now when a friend talks about being stressed out about an exam, you know exactly how he or she feels.

Or do you remember a time when your mom got really sick or your dad traveled away for several weeks? Was it stressful for the rest of your family? But when the sickness or travel was over, you were relieved. Now, you can be understanding when others face a similar situation.

The most important thing to remember is that any time you face pressure, turn to God first. If you learn to rely on him, you will experience his peace and the stress won’t be as overwhelming. Then you will have a truly helpful answer to offer others—God’s strength.

Dear Lord, Everybody talks about being “stressed out.” I’m so glad you are the answer to all stressful situations. Amen.

Joyce Meyer – Invest in Your Healing

 

For you have need of patient endurance [to bear up under difficult circumstances without compromising], so that when you have carried out the will of God, you may receive and enjoy to the full what is promised. — Hebrews 10:36 (AMP)

Adapted from the resource The Power of Being Thankful Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

What a blessing it is to know that the Holy Spirit helps us overcome our past.

Thankfully, with faith and patience, you can recover from your past pain, from things that have been done to you, or from mistakes that you have made, but the recovery will require an investment of time on your part. You can either continue to invest in your misery, or you can begin to invest in your healing.

One of the ways you can deal with the past is by confessing God’s promises instead of talking about negative, defeated feelings. When you confess God’s promises instead of your problems, you are exercising your faith and investing in your healing. This is a powerful way to really begin enjoying your life.

Prayer Starter: Father, I’m grateful that I can invest in my own healing by confessing Your Word over my life. Help me to focus on Your promises rather than my problems. Thank You that You have good things in store for my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Gives the Victory

“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57, KJV).

In our busy lives, yours and mine, there are days when victory seems an impossibility. Heartaches, trials, burdens, or just the ordinary cares of the day, all seem foreign to the idea of being victorious.

And yet the fact remains that we are “more than conquerors” even when we do not feel like it. God graciously allows His children to be human and to express our doubts and fears when suffering and pain and testing and trial seem to overwhelm us.

“I have to be very honest,” confessed Joyce Landorf, well-known Christian author and speaker, during a long period of illness. “One of the things I have learned from severe pain is that I have felt totally abandoned by God. I didn’t think he’d let that happen to me, but He has.

“And maybe the feeling of abandonment when pain is at its writhing best..maybe that’s what makes it so sweet after the pain goes and the Lord says, ‘I was here all the time. I haven’t left you. I will never forsake you.’ Now those words get sweeter to me because I know what it has felt like to not feel His presence.”

We do not have all the answers, but we know one who does. And that is where our victory begins – acknowledging (1) that God is a God of love, one who never makes a mistake, and (2) he will never leave us or forsake us.

Bible Reading:Romans 7:18-25

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will consider myself a victor, whatever may transpire, because I serve the victorious one

 

http://www.cru.org