Charles Stanley – Free Indeed

 

John 8:31-36

Would you consider yourself a free person? The truth is, most people in the world are slaves but don’t even know it. There are no physical chains or slave masters because this form of bondage has to do with the invisible state of the soul.

When Jesus spoke about the power of truth to set people free, the Pharisees objected, claiming they were not enslaved to anyone. But they were deceived, and this is the sad state of many people today. They have no idea that they’re in bondage to sin and that it’s the result of having rejected the truth of God concerning Jesus Christ.

Freedom comes with believing what God has testified regarding His Son, admitting we are hopeless sinners, and embracing Christ as our Savior. At that point, we are set free from the penalty and dominion of sin. Then, when we finally reach heaven, we’ll also be freed from the very presence of sin, never to be plagued by it again.

As long as we live here on earth, sin will surround us and be something we must contend with. Yet God has given us the way to become progressively free from its power. His solution is the same thing that led us into salvation: the truth. Jesus said, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31-32).

The key is to continually fill your mind with God’s Word. As it shapes your emotions and dictates your actions, you’ll gain victory over sinful thoughts, attitudes, and habits.

Bible in One Year: 1 Corinthians 14-16

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — God Hears

 

Read: Romans 12:9–21 | Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 40–41; 2 Peter 3

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

Diane listened as the others in the group asked for prayers for their family members and friends facing challenges or illness. She had a family member who had been struggling with an addiction for years. But Diane kept her request silent. She couldn’t bear to see the looks on people’s faces or hear the questions or advice that often followed whenever she spoke the words aloud. She felt that this request was usually better left unspoken. Others simply didn’t understand how her loved one could be a believer in Jesus and still struggle daily.

Although Diane didn’t share her request with that group, she did have a few trusted friends she asked to pray with her. Together they asked God to set her loved one free from the very real bondage of addiction that he might experience freedom in Christ—and that God would give Diane the peace and patience she needed. As she prayed, she found comfort and strength from her relationship with Him.

Many of us have earnest, persistent prayers that seem to go unanswered. But we can be assured that God does care and He does hear all our requests. He urges us to continue to walk closely with Him, being “joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12). We can lean on Him.

Lord, Your Word urges us to pray continually. Help us to be persistent in prayer, and enable us to be faithful partners in prayer with others.

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings. Hebrews 10:22

By Alyson Kieda

INSIGHT

In Romans 12, Paul builds on his theological teaching from chapters 1–11 and now begins to provide practical application for a gospel-based life. Salvation produces internal results with external impact. In response to our salvation, we are to offer ourselves as “living sacrifices” (12:1–2). The internal results are a proper sense of self-awareness (v. 3) and spiritual enablement (vv. 4–8) producing the external impact of service in Christ’s kingdom (vv. 9–13, 15–16) and to the world in which we live (vv. 14, 17–21). Paul’s clear message to the followers of Christ in Rome is that what we believe should have a profound influence on how we live.

For more on Paul’s letter to the church at Rome, check out Knowing God Through Romans at discoveryseries.org/sb221.

Bill Crowder

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Streams in the Desert for Kids – In God’s Time

 

Genesis 21:2

Did you ever notice that God doesn’t seem to be in a hurry? Often it seems as if he waits until the last moment to answer our prayers. God had promised Abraham that he would make a great nation out of him, but Abraham had no children. How was he to become a great nation if he had no son? It was thirty years from the time God first promised Abraham a son until he held his little boy, Isaac. Later, Isaac’s son Jacob had twelve sons, and the children started multiplying. After many years they formed a nation—the nation of Israel.

What is your family praying about? Is there something you’ve waited and waited for? Don’t give up. Keep praying, and God will answer in his time, which is always perfect.

When Isaac was finally born, there was much happiness in Abraham and Sarah’s house. God’s promise was worth the wait. And it will be for you too. When Jesus finally answers your prayer, you’ll be smiling.

Dear Lord, I’m looking forward to that happy day when you answer my prayer. Amen.

 

Joyce Meyer – The Best Thing for You

 

Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to use them accordingly…. — Romans 12:6 (AMP)

Adapted from the resource Trusting God Day by Day Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

We all have different gifts, but we shouldn’t compare or be jealous of the gifts of others.

I remember hearing one preacher talk of how often he saw Jesus. I had never seen Jesus, so I wondered what was wrong with me.

Another person I knew prayed four hours every morning. I could not find enough to pray about to keep praying for four hours and always ended up bored and sleepy, so I wondered what was wrong with me.

I had no gift to remember large portions of Scripture like someone I knew, who memorized all the Psalms and Proverbs as well as other entire books of the Bible, so I wondered what was wrong with me.

I finally realized that nothing was wrong with me.

Whatever we cannot do, there are many other things we can. Whatever someone else can do, there are also things they cannot. Don’t let Satan deceive you any longer. Don’t compare yourself with anyone in any way, especially not spiritually.

We can see other people’s good examples and be encouraged by them, but they must never become our standard. Even if we learn how to do something from them, we still will not do it exactly the same way.

At some time or another, I think we all fall into the trap of wondering why we are not like others we know or why we don’t have the same experiences they do, but it is a trap—and a dangerous one. We are caught in a snare set by Satan when we enter into spiritual competition and comparison, and we become dissatisfied with what God is giving to us.

We should trust that God will do the best thing for each of us and let Him choose what that is. If we trust God in this way, we can lay aside our fears and insecurities about ourselves.

I am sure we would all like to see into the spiritual realm and have an abundance of supernatural experiences, but getting frustrated if we don’t only steals our peace, and certainly does not produce visions of Jesus.

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for making me a special individual with unique gifts and talents. Help me today and every day to be the best me I can be. Help me to also love and appreciate others for their unique gifts. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Strength and Peace

 

“He will give His people strength. He will bless them with peace” (Psalm 29:11).

Scott, a professing atheist with the morals of an alley cat, insisted that he had peace in his heart. Though rare, it is possible for people to harden their hearts so much that God ceases to draw them to Himself, and they experience a counterfeit peace.

The psalmist, of course, is talking about a different kind of peace. Ocean voyagers in the storm are at peace because they know the ship is sound and the pilot is skillful. In the same way, we as believers are at peace because we serve God who gives His people strength and blesses them with peace.

“His people,” of course, refers to those who have placed their trust and faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, as Lord and Savior. None other may claim such a wonderful promise.

Significantly, “strength” comes before “peace.” This is God’s strength: “Who would certainly fail without it. Then this very same strength results in peace, God’s peace “that passes all understanding.”

God’s strength enables us to contend with the powers of darkness, within the world and within our own natural depravity.

Peace, the great blessing of the gospel is two-fold:

  1. Peace with God through Christ, and
  2. Peace of mind.

Strength and peace to live the abundant, supernatural life is available to all His people. You may claim your share today by faith.

Bible Reading:Psalm 71:9-16

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Those two great blessings, strength and peace, will be mine today in direct proportion to my faith and trust in Him, who is my peace.

 

 

http://www.cru.org