Charles Stanley –Hope for a Changing World

 

Romans 5:1-5

The rapid changes in our world can give us a sense of unease and uncertainty. We can be thrown off balance by the suffering we see around us, the evolving technology that outpaces our ability to absorb it, and the daily rise and fall of the financial markets. Sometimes what seems worthwhile to us today has less value tomorrow.

As problems mount, we can become discouraged and lose heart. But basing all our hope on man’s ability to solve problems or modify a situation is not the answer. We can achieve only temporary peace when we alter our own circumstances or adjust our outward behavior.

The root problem in our culture is spiritual—namely, man has a sin nature that is at enmity with God. Sin prompts us to look out for ourselves and pursue what we want. Neither our intellect nor talent could have changed our sinful state or brought us peace with God. However, those who trust Jesus as Savior receive a new nature and are reconciled to the Lord. As His adopted children, we not only are at peace with Him but also have been given the power to live in harmony with one another.

No matter how much life changes, we can have hope, for we are anchored to a firm foundation that will never be shaken (Isa. 28:16).

Remember, the believer’s hope rests in the triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Our heavenly Father knows each of us by name (Isa. 43:1). Our Savior keeps every divine promise (2 Corinthians 1:20). And the Holy Spirit assures us that we are secure in Christ, both in this life and the one to come.

Bible in One Year: Genesis 20-23

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — The Greater Glory

 

Read: John 17:1–5, 20–24 | Bible in a Year: Genesis 16–17; Matthew 5:27–48

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. Luke 2:1

Caesar Augustus is remembered as the first and greatest of the Roman emperors. By political skill and military power he eliminated his enemies, expanded the empire, and lifted Rome from the clutter of rundown neighborhoods into a city of marble statues and temples. Adoring Roman citizens referred to Augustus as the divine father and savior of the human race. As his forty-year reign came to an end, his official last words were, “I found Rome a city of clay but left it a city of marble.” According to his wife, however, his last words were actually, “Have I played the part well? Then applaud as I exit.”

What Augustus didn’t know is that he’d been given a supporting role in a bigger story. In the shadow of his reign, the son of a carpenter was born to reveal something far greater than any Roman military victory, temple, stadium, or palace (Luke 2:1).

But who could have understood the glory Jesus prayed for on the night His countrymen demanded His crucifixion by Roman executioners? (John 17:4–5). Who could have foreseen the hidden wonder of a sacrifice that would be forever applauded in heaven and earth?

It’s quite a story. Our God found us chasing foolish dreams and fighting among ourselves. He left us singing together about an old rugged cross.

Father in heaven, please help us to see through and beyond the passing glory of everything but Your love. 

The glory we need is the glory of the cross. 

By Mart DeHaan

INSIGHT

The word glory (or glorify) is very prominent in John’s gospel. In John 17 alone it’s used nine times. It’s derived from the base word doxa, which means “glory,” “honor,” or “praise.” Our word doxology (a short hymn of worship) comes from this term. In John, the word glory surfaces first in chapter 1, verse 14. The second time is in John 2:11 where at Cana we read that Jesus “revealed his glory” by turning water into wine. Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, God was and is honored or glorified.

Arthur Jackson

 

http://www.odb.org

Joyce Meyer – The Written Word of God

 

Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart — Psalms 119:2

Adapted from the resource Power Thoughts Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

In order to know God—what to expect from Him and what He expects from you—you must know His Word. It’s not possible for God to say one thing but do another. He cannot lie, and He’s always faithful to perform what He has promised.

I know many people who have studied God’s Word diligently and whose lives have been changed, but I also know many who, although they would like their lives to improve, won’t discipline themselves to study and learn the Word or to speak the Word.

Spending time with God by studying the Word is your choice, and only you can make it. When you make that choice to seek Him with your whole heart, it won’t take long before the desire to really know God and His Word becomes a natural response.

Prayer Starter: Lord, help me to take steps today to make Your Word a priority in my life. As I move forward, give me a true hunger and desire to know You more intimately. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Strong Love Is the Proof

 

“And so I am giving a new commandment to you now – love each other just as much as I love you. Your strong love for each other will prove to the world that you are My disciples” (John 13:34,35).

A Navajo Indian woman who had been healed of a serious ailment by a missionary doctor was greatly impressed by the love he manifested.

“If Jesus is anything like the doctor,” she said, “I can trust Him forever.”

The doctor was a living example of the above promise. When Jesus spoke these words, the entire known world was filled with hate, war and fear. The Jews and the Gentiles hated each other. The Greeks and the Romans hated each other.

But with the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and the day of Pentecost came a breath of heavenly love. Those who received Jesus, the incarnation of love, into their lives and who chose to obey His command began to love one another. The pagan world looked on in amazement and said of the believers, “How they love one another!”

Within a few years following this command to love one another, the gospel had spread like a prairie fire throughout the known world. The miracle of God’s love, His supernatural agape, had captivated multitudes throughout the decadent, wicked Roman Empire.

Tragically, today one seldom hears “How they love one another!” about Christians. Instead there is far too much suspicion, jealousy, criticism and conflict between Christians, churches and denominations. The unbelieving world often laughs at our publicized conflicts.

But those individuals who do demonstrate this supernatural love are usually warmly received by nonbelievers as well as believers. The churches that obey our Lord’s command to “love one another” usually are filled to overflowing and are making a great impact for good and for the glory of God. They represent a highly desirable alternative to secular society.

How does one love supernaturally? By faith. God’s Word commands us to love (John 13:34,35). God’s Word promises that He will enable us to do what He commands us to do (John 5:14,15).

Bible Reading:1 John 3:14-19

Today’s Action Point: Through the enabling of the Holy Spirit, I will by faith love others and thus prove that I am a true disciple of the Lord Jesus.

 

http://www.cru.org