Charles Stanley – Robbing the Body of Christ

 

1 Corinthians 12:14-21

Every day, you get out of bed, put on clothes, and walk to the kitchen to eat breakfast. You maybe watch the news or check your email, and a few minutes later, you drive to work at 60 miles per hour on a road where other vehicles can pass by within feet. In the first hour or so that you’re awake, your body completes thousands of complex tasks that are so routine they go unnoticed. We hardly even think about them.

Our physical frame is a creation of remarkable beauty and intricacy. And while certain parts seem more attractive than others, all are useful. The body’s interdependent nature—that is, the way the different parts rely on one another to perform properly—is an apt metaphor for a Christ-centered church. When believers use their gifts and talents to operate and depend on each other, the whole body functions properly to the glory of God.

However, many people in church today feel insignificant. Upon seeing the successful work of others, they decide they’re not really needed or assume they haven’t got the “right” talents to make a worthwhile contribution. Those are lies from the devil. When his misguidance succeeds—which is all too often—one more Christian backs away in hopes that someone else will do the Lord’s work.

Hanging back instead of seeking a place to serve is unfair to the congregation, because your unique contribution is integral to the unity of God’s church. Your role might not be center stage, but it is vital to Jesus Christ and to His body on earth.

Bible in One Year: Exodus 7-9

 

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Our Daily Bread — Worshiping with Questions

 

Bible in a Year:Genesis 43–45; Matthew 12:24–50

I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.

Psalm 13:5

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Psalm 13:1-6

It’s not uncommon during a long (or short!) trip for someone in a group of travelers to ask, “Are we there yet?” or “How much longer?” Who hasn’t heard these universal queries coming from the lips of children and adults eager to arrive at their destination? But people of all ages are also prone to ask similar questions when wearied because of life challenges that never seem to cease.

Such was the case with David in Psalm 13. Four times in two verses (vv. 1–2), David—who felt forgotten, forsaken, and defeated—lamented “How long?” In verse two, he asks, “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts?” Psalms that include lament, like this one, implicitly give us permission to worshipfully come to the Lord with questions of our own. After all, what better person to talk to during prolonged times of stress and strain than God? We can bring our struggles with illness, grief, the waywardness of a loved one, and relational difficulties to Him.

Worship need not stop when we have questions. The sovereign God of heaven welcomes us to bring our worry-filled questions to Him. And perhaps, like David, in due time our questions will be transformed into petitions and expressions of trust and praise to the Lord (vv. 3–6).

By Arthur Jackson

Today’s Reflection

Lord, thank You that I don’t have to stop worshiping when I have questions; I can worship You with my questions.

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Random Hallelujahs

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is a national establishment dedicated to artistic excellence, funding local arts projects that engage communities in collective cultural experiences. With the assistance of the ever- and omni- potent YouTube, they put themselves on the map in recent years with an initiative they called “Random Acts of Culture.” Call it a cultural experiment in the transformational power of the arts—Mozart in the mall, tango in the airport terminal, or Puccini at the farmers’ market—the result was art in unusual places, wide-eyed children and startled shoppers, culture interrupted by culture.

The idea was simple. Gather a group of talented artists in a particular city—a string quartet from the Charlotte Symphony, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, or two gifted dancers—and set them loose from the concert halls to stage a performance in the street. Or, as it were, in the shoe department. Shoppers at a very crowded shoe sale in Miami were startled as one by one their salespeople suddenly turned into characters from the French opera Carmen—shoe boxes in hand.

Yet one of these intruding bursts of creativity caused the most commotion by far. In October of 2012, the Opera Company of Philadelphia brought together over 650 choristers from 28 participating organizations to perform a Random Act of Culture in the heart of a busy Macy’s store in Philadelphia. Accompanied by the Wanamaker Organ—the largest pipe organ in the world—the Opera Company and throngs of singers from the community infiltrated the store as shoppers, and burst into a pop-up rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus from George Frideric Handel’s “Messiah” at high noon.

The reactions on the faces of singers, shoppers, and salespeople are worth the YouTube visit alone—which has been replayed over 9.3 million times: people with shopping bags in tow stop to raise their hands, gadgets and phones are pulled out of pockets and purses to record the moment, the busywork of a crowded mall in action otherwise stopped in its tracks by words that make it all seem so small.

The kingdom of this world

Is become the kingdom of our Lord,

And of his Christ, and of his Christ;

And He shall reign forever and ever,

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Random Hallelujahs

Joyce Meyer – Start with What You Have

 

Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.— Proverbs 3:28

Adapted from the resource New Day New You Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

We can have good intentions and still be disobedient. Procrastination is very deceptive. We don’t see it as disobedience because we intend to obey God; it is just that we are going to do it when—when we have more money, when we are not so busy, as soon as Christmas is over, after we get the kids in school this year, as soon as vacation is over, etc.

There is no point in praying for God to give you more money so you can be a blessing to others if you are not being a blessing with what you already have.

Don’t believe Satan’s lies that you have nothing to give. Even if it is only a pack of gum or a ballpoint pen, start using what you have to bless others.

Prayer Starter: Father, help me to be a blessing today. Show me ways I can impact someone’s life—even in a small way. Help me to use the resources You have given me to love others and glorify You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright –To Keep You From Sin

 

“How can a young man stay pure? By reading Your Word and following its rules. I have tried my best to find You – don’t let me wander off from Your instructions. I have thought much about Your words, and stored them in my heart so that they would hold me back from sin” (Psalm 119:9-11).

Carl, a Christian leader who had made a mess of his life, wept as he shared his defeat. “As a young Christian, “he said, “I was warned that God’s Word would keep me from sin, or sin would keep me from God’s Word.

“For many years,” he continued, “I studied and obeyed God’s Word faithfully. A few years ago I became very busy and took less and less time for God’s Word. So when temptation came, I had no strength to resist. Now my life and marriage have disintegrated and I am thinking of committing suicide.”

If you do not already have a daily practice of spending time alone with God – studying, reading, memorizing and meditating on His Word, and spending time with Him in prayer – I encourage you to do so, beginning today. The spiritual food of God’s Word is absolutely essential for victorious, supernatural living. Great benefit can be found in listening to recordings of the Old and New Testaments, sermons and Christian music on your cassette player, in your home and in your car as you travel.

Scientists and health nutritionists confirm that our physical well-being is largely determined by the food we eat. For example, many people cannot tolerate high quantities of refined foods, such as sugar, white flour and chocolate. When they eat such foods, they become seriously ill physically, mentally and emotionally. Some have even been known to develop criminal tendencies because of what is often diagnosed as hypoglycemia, caused by poor nutrition.

In like manner, our spiritual bodies are influenced by what we absorb from God’s Word and other scripturally based writings. It is impossible to be happy, healthy, strong, virile and fruitful for God without a regular intake from the Word of God.

Bible Reading:Philippians 4:8,9

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will determine, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to set aside time each day to read the Bible and pray and wait upon God for His leading and maturing in my life.

 

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Keep Your Gaze on Jesus

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Peter said, “‘Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.’  So Jesus said, ‘Come.’”  For a few heart-stilling moments described in Matthew 14, Peter did the impossible.  He defied every law of gravity and nature.  Then he shifted his attention away from Jesus, and he sank like a brick.

Give the storm waters more attention that the Storm Walker, and get ready to do the same.  We can’t choose whether or not storms come.  But we can choose where we stare during a storm.  Do whatever it takes to keep your gaze on Jesus.  Courage is always a possibility.  Feed your fears, and your faith will starve.  Feed your faith, and your fears will starve.  Storms are not an option, but fear is.

Read more Fearless

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

 

http://www.maxlucado.com

Denison Forum – CNN writer calls biblical morality ‘disgusting’

Karen Pence taught art at Immanuel Christian School in Virginia for twelve years while her husband served as a congressman. Her office announced Tuesday that she “missed teaching art” and will be returning to her part-time position.

Here’s the problem: this Christian school teaches and operates by a Christian code of conduct.

Immanuel requires parents to agree that they and their children will not act in opposition to “the biblical lifestyle the school teaches.” Examples include “participating in, supporting, or condoning sexual immorality, homosexual activity or bi-sexual activity.”

The school’s employment application requires employees to affirm “that the term ‘marriage’ has only one meaning; the uniting of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive covenant union.” It defines “moral misconduct” that would disqualify employees as “heterosexual activity outside of marriage (e.g., premarital sex, cohabitation, extramarital sex), homosexual or lesbian sexual activity, polygamy, transgender identity, [and] any other violation of the unique roles of male and female.”

According to a CNN opinion writer, “This language is disgusting.” He’s not alone in his outrage, but his argument is so important and so popular that I’d like to explore it with you today.

The problem with acting on your faith

The writer claims that Immanuel’s stance “insults millions of taxpaying American citizens, many who have served their country. That it is acceptable to the wife of the man who is a heartbeat away from the presidency should horrify and alarm all Americans.”

Continue reading Denison Forum – CNN writer calls biblical morality ‘disgusting’