Charles Stanley –Freedom From Deception

 

Galatians 5:1-13

Have you ever believed a lie and then later discovered the truth? If so, you know how damaging deception is. It can ruin friendships, destroy reputations, and leave a trail of painful, lingering consequences. The damage is particularly horrendous when the deception is spiritual, because it can mean the difference between going to heaven or hell.

It would be nice to think that once we’re saved, we could never again be spiritually deceived, but that’s not the case. Satan is always looking for ways to lead us astray so he can ruin our testimony and hinder our spiritual growth. That’s why it’s so important for Christians to be discerning—and this ability will be developed in us only as we grow in our knowledge of scriptural truth.

The apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Galatia because they were quickly deserting Christ for a different gospel (Gal. 1:6-7). Someone had come into the church and distorted the gospel of grace, telling them they needed to be circumcised and obey the Law in order to be saved (Gal. 5:3-4).

Although this may not be the issue today, the belief that any kind of good work or performance can earn God’s acceptance is still being falsely promoted in certain Christian circles. At the other extreme are those who say it doesn’t matter what we believe or do because everyone is going to heaven. They wrongly conclude that a loving God would never punish anyone.

Jesus clearly warned that deception would increase as time progressed (Matt. 24:4-5). Now is the time to study God’s Word, because knowing truth is our only protection against being led astray by misinformation.

Bible in One Year: 2 Corinthians 1-4

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — A Safe Place

 

Read: Psalm 17:1–9 | Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 42–44; 1 John 1

I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. Psalm 17:6

My brothers and I grew up on a wooded hillside in West Virginia that provided a fertile landscape for our imaginations. Whether swinging from vines like Tarzan or building tree houses like the Swiss Family Robinson, we played out the scenarios we found in the stories we read and movies we watched. One of our favorites was building forts and then pretending we were safe from attack. Years later, my kids built forts out of blankets, sheets, and pillows—constructing their own “safe place” against imaginary enemies. It seems almost instinctive to want a hiding place where you can feel safe and secure.

When David, the singer-poet of Israel, sought a safe place, he looked no further than God. Psalm 17:8 asserts, “[God,] keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.” When you consider the Old Testament record of David’s life and the almost constant threats he faced, these words reveal an amazing level of confidence in God (v. 6). In spite of those threats, he was convinced his true safety was found in Him.

We can know that same confidence. The God who promises to never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) is the One we trust with our lives every day. Although we live in a dangerous world, our God gives us peace and assurance—both now and forever. He is our safe place.

Father, the world around me can feel threatening, overwhelming, and dangerous. But You give me peace, strength, and help.

Give God thanks for being your hiding place today.

By Bill Crowder

INSIGHT

In the Psalms, we find people speaking to God about the concerns of their heart and the practical issues of everyday life. As such, there are various categories of psalms. One category is imprecatory psalms (Psalms 5, 10, 17, 35, 58, 59, 70, 79, 83, 109, 129, 137, 140). Imprecatory literally means “to pray evil against” or “to invoke a curse upon.” In these psalms, the author typically asks for vindication against an enemy for unjust treatment. These prayers can range in aggression from a request for justice and vindication to petition for the death and destruction of one’s enemies (see Psalm 17:2 and Psalms 35 and 137 for increasingly aggressive requests for God’s action). While some imprecatory psalms may make us uncomfortable, we must remember that these are human requests for God to act—requests made from the pit of despair, frustration, and hopelessness.

J.R. Hudberg

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Joyce Meyer – Receiving

 

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear…. — 1 Joh 4:18

Adapted from the resource Wake Up to the Word Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

Receiving means “taking; accepting; admitting; embracing; believing; entertaining.”

We conducted a survey at our office, asking our employees what one of their greatest concerns was in their walk with God. The number one response was, “When can I know that I am doing enough?”

Perfectionism is fueled with the tyranny of the shoulds and oughts. It is the constant nagging feeling of never doing well enough or being good enough. Perfectionists usually have low self-esteem, and they hope that more perfection in their performance will allow them to feel better about themselves.

If we never feel quite good enough about ourselves, it is easy to believe that God is not satisfied with us either.

Learning to love yourself is the essence of receiving God’s love. It is the ointment that brings healing to your wounded soul. When you receive God’s love and learn to love yourself because of it, you’ll find rest and be free from the disappointment of perfectionism.

Prayer Starter: Lord, help me to receive Your love today and relax in the confidence that You are pleased with me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Gives Richly

 

“Tell those who are rich not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which will soon be gone, but their pride and trust should be in the living God who always richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment” (1 Timothy 6:17).

Arthur S. DeMoss was a gifted and godly businessman. He had built one of the most successful businesses of its kind in America and in the process had amassed a huge fortune of an estimated half a billion dollars. Then suddenly an economic recession began and stock in his company plummeted. He lost $360 million in a period of only four months – an average of $3 million a day – more than anybody had ever lost in such a short time. One would have thought he would have been devastated. Instead, in order to avoid decreasing his Christian giving, he (personally) borrowed funds, at an incredibly high rate of interest, to enable him to increase his giving. As we talked together during that period, he was rejoicing in the Lord.

“The Lord gave me everything I have,” he said. “It all belongs to Him and if He wants to take it away that’s His business. I don’t lose any sleep. I still have a wonderful family and my life-style remains unchanged. I am prepared to do anything that God wants me to do. If He takes away everything I own and wants me to go to the mission field, I’m ready to do it. All He needs to do is tell me.”

Art had his trust completely in the Lord and not in his vast fortune. God honored his faith and obedience and ultimately restored all that he had lost and much more. Art has gone to be with the Lord, but his fortune is still being used for the glory of God.

Paul’s answer to the believers of his day is just as appropriate to the believers of our time. No person should be unduly impressed with his wealth and look down with pride and arrogance on those whom he considers to be inferior. Riches are uncertain because they can be taken away from us. In the personal emergencies of life one cannot depend upon material possessions for strength and comfort. In times of tragedy – the loss of a loved one, a financial reversal, or some other disappointment – material possessions do not insure peace. Our trust must be in the living God who is able to supply all of our needs and do for us what riches cannot do.

Bible Reading:1 Timothy 6:6-16

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:> I will not take the blessing of God for granted and will not place my trust in any earthy possession. My confidence will be in Him who is the source of the supernatural life.

 

http://www.cru.org