Charles Stanley –Our Heavenly Father

 

Matthew 6:9-13

When Christ taught His disciples to pray, He told them to call God “Our Father” when communicating with Him. Jesus often addressed God as “My Father,” but now they, too, shared in that privileged family relationship. All of us who’ve been born again are part of the household of God and have this same right.

Consider some of the ways our heavenly Father cares for His children. He …

Loves. God’s love is unconditional, since it’s based on His nature rather than our performance (1 John 4:16).

Listens. When we pray, He gives us His full attention (Psalm 55:16-17).

Provides. The Father assumes responsibility for meeting all our needs (Phil. 4:19).

Guides. He is the one who directs our path when we trust in Him (Prov. 3:5-6).

Protects. The Lord shields us spiritually, emotionally, and physically, sifting every experience through His sovereign fingers (Psalm 121).

Stays. He’s not an absentee parent, since He will never leave or forsake us (Deut. 31:8).

Disciplines. The Lord disciplines us for our good, so that we may share in His holiness (Heb. 12:5-11).

Though experiences with our earthly dads may have distorted our perspective of the heavenly Father, we can learn to see Him as He truly is. By viewing Him through the truth of Scripture instead of our preconceptions, we will see evidence of His loving care and discover a security we’ve never known before.

Bible in One Year: Acts 27-28

 

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — A Hidden Ministry

 

Read: 2 Corinthians 1:8–11 | Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 16–17; James 3

On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. 2 Corinthians 1:10–11

A big academic project was weighing on me, and I was fretting over whether I could complete it by the deadline. In the midst of my anxious thoughts, I received three notes of encouragement from friends who were cheering me on. Each one said, “God brought you to mind today when I was praying.” I felt humbled and encouraged that these friends would contact me without knowing what I was going through, and I believed God had used them as His messengers of love.

The apostle Paul knew the power of prayer when he wrote to the people in the church of Corinth. He said he trusted that God would continue to deliver them from peril “as you help us by your prayers” (2 Corinthians 1:10–11). And when God answered their prayers, He would be glorified as the people gave Him thanks for the “answer to the prayers of many” (v. 11).

My friends and Paul’s supporters were engaging in the ministry of intercession, which Oswald Chambers calls “a hidden ministry that brings forth fruit through which the Father is glorified.” As we focus our minds and hearts on Jesus, we find Him shaping us, including how we pray. He enables us to give the gift of true intercession to friends, family members, and even strangers.

Has God put someone on your heart and mind for whom you can pray?

Read more from Oswald Chambers at utmost.org.

God hears the prayers of His people.

By Amy Boucher Pye

INSIGHT

Paul endured far more than his share of trials. As he begins this deeply personal letter (see 2 Corinthians 1:3–7), he comforts the church in Corinth by using his own difficulties to identify with them. Then, with piercing candor, he reveals the depths of those trials—“far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself” (v. 8). Why would God permit His faithful servants to go through so much? Paul points to the reason: “This happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead” (v. 9, emphasis added).

When facing despair, we can do far more than merely endure. We can use our travails to identify with and understand our brothers and sisters who suffer and to pray for them. And we can acknowledge the absolute necessity of God, who raises the dead.

Tim Gustafson

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – What Is Wrong With the World?

In a world of finger-pointing, Tetsuya Ishikawa paused instead to confess guilt. After seven years at the forefront of the credit markets, he took the idea of a friend to write a book called How I Caused the Credit Crunch because, in the friend’s analysis, “it sounds like you did.”(1) In the form of a novel that discredits the notion of the financial sector as a collaboration of remote, unthinking forces, he admits in flesh and blood that he believes he is guilty, too. Though reviewers note Ishikawa does not remain long with his admission of responsibility, he succeeds in showing the financial markets as a reflection of human choices with real, moral dimensions—and, ultimately, the futility of our ongoing attempts at finding a better scapegoat.

Whenever the subject of blame or fault comes about in any sector of life, whether economic, societal, or individual, scapegoating is a far more common reaction than confession. Most of us are most comfortable when blame is placed as far away from us as possible. Even the word ‘confession,’ the definition of which is concerned with personally owning a fault or belief, is now often associated with the sins of others, which an outspoken soul just happens to be willing to share with the world happily willing to listen: Confessions of a Shopaholic, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Confessions of a Columnist. We are interested in those confessions of a former investment banker/warlord/baseball wife because the “owning up” has nothing to do with owning anything.

Perhaps like many of us in our own confessing, Charles Templeton’s 1996 book, Farewell to God, which offered the confessions of a former Christian leader, is filled with moments of confession in both senses of the word: honest commentary and easy scapegoating. In his thoughts that deal with the Christian church, it is particularly apparent. Pointing near and far and wide, Templeton observes that the church indeed has a speckled past: “Across the centuries and on every continent, Christians—the followers of the Prince of Peace—have been the cause of and involved in strife. The church during the Middle Ages was like a terrorist organization.”(2) He admits that some good has come from Christian belief, but that there is altogether too much bad that has come from it. He then cites the church’s declining numbers as evidence that the world is in agreement; people are losing interest because the church is failing to be relevant. Pews are empty; denominations oppose one another; the church is floundering and its influence waning—except perhaps its negative influence, which he insists is on the rise. Of course, Templeton is by no means alone in these accusations.

Undeniably, many of these confessions regarding the church are riddled with difficult truths that someone somewhere must indeed own. Other assertions are not only difficult to posit as relevant, but are simply dishonest attempts to point blame and escape the more personal, consistent answer. As Templeton determinedly points out the steady decline of attendance in the church as reason to disbelieve, it is unclear how this supports his personal confession that Christian beliefs are untrue. Does the claim of the church’s decline (the veracity of which is debated) say anything about whether Christianity is based on lies, lunacy, or fact? Jesus spoke of those who would turn away, churches that would grow cold, faith that would be abandoned. Moreover, if one is truly convinced that Christianity is an outlandish hoax, isn’t it odd that so much energy is taken in criticizing the church in the first place—as if one had a vision of what the people of God should look like?

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – What Is Wrong With the World?

Joyce Meyer – Prayer Produces Peace

 

In this passage, the apostle Paul does not say, “Pray and worry.” Instead, he is saying “Pray and don’t worry.” Why are we to pray and not worry? Because prayer is an important way we cast our care upon the Lord. Prayer is what opens the door for God to work in our lives and the lives of other people.

When Satan tries to give us something to worry about, we can turn and give that care to God. If we pray about something and then keep on worrying about it, we are mixing a positive and a negative. The two cancel each other out so that we end up right back where we started—at zero.

Prayer is a positive force; worry is a negative force. The Lord has shown me the reason many people operate at zero power spiritually is that they cancel out their positive prayer power by giving in to the negative power of worry.

As long as we are worrying, we are not trusting God. It is only by trusting, by having faith and confidence in the Lord, that we are able to enter into His rest and enjoy the peace that transcends all understanding.

Prayer Starter: Father, I take a moment right now to lift up my needs to You. Help me with this day to trust You completely and receive Your peace, knowing You have everything under control. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Able to Keep Promises

 

“He was completely sure that God was well able to do anything He promised” (Romans 4:21).

Occasionally, I hear people say, “Bill Bright is a man of great faith.” The statement is made because our ministry is involved with millions of Christians from many thousands of churches of all denominations and other Christian organizations in gargantuan undertakings – massive worldwide programs of evangelism and discipleship in which we have, by faith, trusted God for the salvation of at least one billion additional souls for Christ and His kingdom.

As a new Christian, I trusted God for one soul, then six, then ten souls; then hundreds, thousands, millions. And now, after more than 35 years of witnessing His mighty, miraculous power and blessing in response to faith, I am praying and believing God for a billion souls for Christ by the year 2000.

These goals are not built on careless presumptions or figures plucked out of the air in some kind of mystical, emotional, spiritual experience, but they are based upon my confidence in the sovereignty, holiness, love, wisdom, power and grace of the omnipotent God whom I serve and upon His gracious blessings on past efforts that have been undertaken for His glory and praise. No credit should be given to me or to the ministry of which I am a part, but only to the one in whom I place my faith.

Faith must have an object, and the object of my faith is God and His inspired Word. The right view of God generates faith. Faith is like a muscle; it grows with exercise. The more we see God accomplish in and through our lives, the more we can be assured that He will accomplish as we trust and obey Him more.

Bible Reading:Romans 4:13-20

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will place my faith in God alone – not in myself or in other men’s efforts or abilities – and I will encourage others to trust God, too

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – The Prison of Want

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Are you in prison?  You are if you feel better when you have more and worse when you have less.  If your happiness comes from something you deposit, drive, drink, or digest, then face it—you are in prison, the prison of want.

That’s the bad news.  The good news is that you have a visitor.  And your visitor has a message that can get you released.  Make your way into the receiving room.  Take your seat in the chair, and look across the table at the psalmist David.  He motions for you to lean forward.  “I have a secret to tell you,” he whispers, “the secret of satisfaction. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”  It’s as if he is saying, What I have in God is greater than what I don’t have in life.  You think you and I could learn to say the same?

Read more Grace for the Moment II

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

 

http://www.maxlucado.com

Denison Forum – Why did Abraham Lincoln pardon a turkey?

President Trump pardoned the Thanksgiving turkey yesterday, continuing a long and surprising tradition.

Such clemency apparently began with President Lincoln in 1863. Two years later, a White House reporter noted that “a live turkey had been brought home for the Christmas dinner.” However, Lincoln’s son Tad “interceded in behalf of its life . . . [his] plea was admitted and the turkey’s life spared.”

A century later, President Kennedy was presented with a Thanksgiving turkey and responded, “Let’s keep him going,” sparing his life. Presidents since have offered mercy to Thanksgiving turkeys in various ways, leading to the formalizing of the process by President George H. W. Bush in 1989.

This year’s presidential turkeys are named “Peas” and “Carrots.” (President Trump officially pardoned Peas, but Carrots will join him in retirement.) They’re not just any turkeys.

The National Turkey Federation tells us that turkeys selected for the so-called Presidential Flock are “acclimated from an early age to the unique experiences of the ceremony: television lights and crowded noises.” Peas and Carrots spent Monday evening at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in downtown Washington, DC, before their big day on the national stage.

When President Obama issued his Thanksgiving turkey pardon in 2013, he stated: “The office of the presidency is the most powerful position in the world [and] brings with it many awesome and solemn responsibilities.” Then he added humorously, “This is not one of them.”

Unless you’re the turkey.

All of God there is, is in this moment Continue reading Denison Forum – Why did Abraham Lincoln pardon a turkey?