Charles Stanley –Longing for the Word

 

1 Peter 2:1-3

If you’ve ever had a newborn baby in your home, you understand the concept Peter is conveying in today’s passage. A baby doesn’t care how pretty mom is or how delightfully the nursery is decorated. There is one thing a newborn wants above all else—milk.

Is that how you feel about God’s Word? Do you long for it so that you may grow spiritually mature? Is hearing Scripture explained and taught at church something you look forward to with eagerness? Or have you lost your appetite and gotten used to digesting only on Sundays?

Often, right after someone has come to faith, there’s an initial hunger to read the Bible because everything about salvation is new and exciting. But as time passes, the novelty wears off, the problems and daily pressures of life continue just as they did previously, and passion for the Word may be replaced with the cares of this life.

If someone has truly been saved, a hunger for the Word should be evident. That’s because as believers, we have tasted the kindness of the Lord and, therefore, long to know Him more fully. Habitually nibbling on Scripture doesn’t do much to stimulate our appetite. God’s Word is an acquired taste, and the more we consume it, the greater our hunger for it will become.

If you’ve lost your desire for the Word, ask the Lord to restore your appetite, and begin reading every day. As you become more familiar with Scripture, you’ll notice your understanding and desire for it increase. Best of all, your love and devotion for your Savior and will grow as well.

Bible in One Year: Genesis 36-38

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Infinite Dimensions

 

Bible in a Year: Genesis 27–28; Matthew 8:18–34

I pray that you . . . [will] grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.

Ephesians 3:17–18

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Ephesians 3:16-21

I lay still on the vinyl-covered mat and held my breath on command as the machine whirred and clicked. I knew lots of folks had endured MRIs, but for claustrophobic me, the experience required focused concentration on something—Someone—much bigger than myself.

In my mind, a phrase from Scripture—“how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Ephesians 3:18)—moved in rhythm with the machine’s hum. In Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian church, he described four dimensions to God’s love in order to stress the unending parameters of His love and presence.

My position while lying down for the MRI provided a new image for my understanding. Wide: the six inches on either side of where my arms were tightly pinned to my body within the tube. Long: the distance between the cylinder’s two openings, extending out from my head and feet. High: the six inches from my nose up to the “ceiling” of the tube. Deep: the support of the tube anchored to the floor beneath me, holding me up. Four dimensions illustrating God’s presence surrounding and holding me in the MRI tube—and in every circumstance of life.

God’s love is ALL around us. Wide: He extends His arms to reach all people everywhere. Long: His love never ends. High: He lifts us up. Deep: He dips down, holding us in all situations. Nothing can separate us from Him! (Romans 8:38–39).

By Elisa Morgan

Today’s Reflection

What situations cause you to question God’s love? How will you choose to trust Him?

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Think Again: An Indispensable Prerequisite

Being raised in India while my wife, Margie, was raised in Canada, I have learned that sometimes words and ideas can get lost in translation, even with those closest to you. Often when I am with Indian friends or colleagues, one of them will make a remark in Hindi that elicits fits of laughter among those of us who understand the language.

Margie will invariably ask, “What did he say?” I attempt to translate the humor, knowing very well her predictable reaction: a blank stare followed by, “But what was so funny?”

Language and culture have that unique capacity to open a world of imagination and a wealth of memory. Even though I left India several decades ago, there are some concepts the Hindi language captures for me that English cannot.

Similarly, the same word may mean different ideas to different people. To a professor of philosophy, “reason” may mean a sound argument. To a high school teacher in India, “reason” may mean cultural respect for one’s own ancestral beliefs.

So, whether we are expressing humor or discussing ultimate issues, we are wise to heed the psalmist’s injunction: “Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3). “The tongue has the power of life and death,” wrote Solomon (Proverbs 18:21). A few verses earlier he cautions, “To answer before listening—that is folly and shame” (verse 13).

With this biblical wisdom, we must keep in mind that behind every belief is a believer and behind every question is a questioner. The belief is part of the worldview, and the worldview is not always well scrutinized by reason. Cultures carry huge connections to the past. Respect must be given.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Think Again: An Indispensable Prerequisite

Joyce Meyer – From Faith to Faith

For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed in a way that awakens more faith]. As it is written and forever remains written, “THE JUST and UPRIGHT SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” — Romans 1:17 (AMP)

Adapted from the resource Battlefield of the Mind Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

Faith is a word the apostle Paul used often in his writing. When writing to the Thessalonians, he wanted to know about their faith.

While the word faith means belief or absolute trust, it’s more than that—the word also implies loyalty and commitment.

Faith means being convinced that something is true. In 1 Corinthians 15:17, the apostle told the Corinthians that if Jesus did not rise from the dead, their faith was meaningless. He was saying that all they believed was utterly useless. True faith acknowledges that the message of Jesus’ death and resurrection is true.

True faith begins when we’re receptive—when we’re willing to listen. It starts with a kind of mental assent—it seems reasonable that it’s true. But that’s not true faith. True faith happens when we say, “Not only does it make sense to me, but I’m willing to stake my life on it.”

Paul quoted from Habakkuk 2:4, saying that the just—the righteous—shall live by faith. One way to think of the just is to think of those who were “justified,” or made right, by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.

Continue reading Joyce Meyer – From Faith to Faith

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Love Without Limit

 

“I have given them the glory You gave Me – the glorious unity of being one, as We are – I in them and You in Me, all being perfected into one – so that the world will know You sent Me and will understand that You love them as much as You love Me” (John 17:22,23).

One day, as I was reading this prayer of Jesus to God the Father, I leaped from my chair in excitement when I realized that God loves me as much as He loves His only begotten Son!

What is more, He loves us unconditionally. That means He loves us not because we are good, or worthy of His love, but simply because of who He is.

Of course, the miracle of it all is that when Jesus, who is the incarnation of God’s love, comes to live within us, that same supernatural love becomes operative within us, enabling us to love others supernaturally as well.

Agape (sacrificial, supernatural and unconditional love) is best described in the well-known and oft-quoted 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians:

“Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him.”

Bible Reading:John 17:15-21

Today’s Action Point: When things go wrong today – or any day – I will choose to remember that God loves me just as much as He loves His only begotten Son! And I will tell everyone who will listen about God’s supernatural love for them.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Worry Stoppers to Bring Peace

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Here are eight worry-stoppers, found in the letters of the word P-E-A-C-E-F-U-L.

Pray, first.  “Casting the whole of your care upon Him …”

Easy, now.  “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.”

Act on it.  Be a doer, not a stewer.

Compile a worry list.  Keep a list of things that trouble you.  How many have turned into a reality?

Evaluate your worry categories.  Pray specifically about them.

Focus on today.  God meets daily needs daily.

Unleash a worry army.  Ask a few loved ones to pray with you and for you.

Let God be enough. “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else.”

Eight steps. P-E-A-C-E-F-U-L.

Read more Fearless

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

http://www.maxlucado.com

Denison Forum – Jeff Bezos’ affair: The largest divorce settlement in history?

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has reportedly been dating an actress and helicopter pilot named Lauren Sanchez for four months. The problem is, Bezos has been married to his wife, MacKenzie, for twenty-five years.

Yesterday, the two announced their plans to divorce. Bezos is worth $137 billion. Since the couple has no prenuptial agreement, their divorce settlement may be the largest in history.

In other news, officials have determined that a sinkhole that cost $75 million to fix was caused by human error.

Water was released too quickly into sewage pipes, eventually causing the ground to collapse into a sinkhole that grew to 100 feet wide and 250 feet long. Nearly two dozen homes in a neighborhood north of Detroit were evacuated; a major roadway was closed for almost a year for repairs.

We may not see the consequences of our sins today, but that makes them no less dangerous.

We must not be “outwitted by Satan”

The Lord warned Adam that he must not eat of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” for “in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:17).

However, Adam did not die on the day he ate from the forbidden fruit. In fact, he lived for a total of 930 years (Genesis 5:5). For many centuries, he might have wondered if God’s warning would come to pass.

A delay in the consequences of sin can tempt us to sin further. Many of our sins are committed in the belief that no one will know, that we will get away with this. The longer we sin without apparent consequences, the more emboldened we become.

This is because we misunderstand the nature of sin and its results.

Continue reading Denison Forum – Jeff Bezos’ affair: The largest divorce settlement in history?

Charles Stanley – Dealing With Guilty Feelings

 

Psalm 32:1-7

Guilt comes from a feeling of responsibility for some wrongdoing. Conviction can result from the Holy Spirit’s efforts to turn us away from sin and guide us to our heavenly Father. But not all guilt stems from ungodly actions.

False guilt, which is not prompted by sin, can surface for a variety of reasons, such as disappointment in one’s own performance, a sense of shame over past events, or criticism from others for unmet expectations. Rejection or a pattern of abuse from childhood can also trigger this emotion. False guilt is a powerful weapon the enemy uses to direct our thoughts away from the Lord.

Whether false or real, the emotion of guilt divides our mind, drains our energy, and creates a sense of insecurity. If we allow it to linger, we can start to have doubts about God’s goodness and love for us. Depression and hopelessness may follow. To cope, some people develop compulsive behaviors in an attempt to replace self-reproach with something pleasurable. Excessive amounts of food, television, internet, shopping, and exercise are common ways people try to push away self-condemning thoughts.

Addressing guilt quickly is important. Acknowledge the emotion to the Lord, and identify the reason behind it. If you’ve violated God’s law, ask His forgiveness, and take steps to change the behavior. If you discover false guilt, confess it and ask God to adjust your thinking to match His. In either case, praise Him because He doesn’t want His children carrying unnecessary burdens and has promised to forgive our sins.

Bible in One Year: Genesis 32-35

 

 

http://www.intouch.org/