Charles Stanley –Blessing Others

 

Psalm 5:11-12

The other day as I was walking through a store, I happened to sneeze, and a gentleman nearby offered the typical response of “bless you.” This caused me to think about what that common expression actually means—namely, a request for divine favor—and the different ways we can bless others.

First, we can bless people by praying for them, and we should be specific when bringing such petitions to the Lord. General requests like “please bless him” are okay, but they can quickly become rote and devoid of meaning. Try supplications with greater detail. When our prayers are specific, we’ll be more likely to notice God’s answers, and we can share this encouragement with the person we’re praying over.

Second, we can ask God’s favor on events and situations. Of course, He will respond only when these align with His will. For example, it is appropriate to request that the Lord find our worship acceptable (Psalm 19:14) and to ask that He touch those present.

Third, we can bless God. We do this by expressing our praise and thanksgiving for His character and for what He has done (Psalm 104:1). We can also bless the Lord through our obedience, service, and desire to please Him. When we place Him first in our lives, He is honored.

The Lord provides a vast array of good gifts, and the desire for such benefits is normal and universal. In fact, as we yearn for divine blessings, why not apply the Golden Rule as a motivation to bless others—including God Himself—through prayer and service?

Bible in One Year: Exodus 13-15

 

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Our Daily Bread — Where Are You Headed?

 

Bible in a Year:Genesis 49–50; Matthew 13:31–58

Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord.

Psalm 121:1–2

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Psalm 121:1-8

What determines our direction in life? I once heard an answer to that question in a surprising place: a motorcycle training course. Some friends and I wanted to ride, so we took a class to learn how. Part of our training dealt with something called target fixation.

“Eventually,” our instructor said, “you’re going to face an unexpected obstacle. If you stare at it—if you target fixate—you’ll steer right into it. But if you look above and past it to where you need to go, you can usually avoid it.” Then he added, “Where you’re looking is the direction you’re going to go.”

That simple-but-profound principle applies to our spiritual lives too. When we “target fixate”—focusing on our problems or struggles—we almost automatically orient our lives around them.

However, Scripture encourages us to look past our problems to the One who can help us with them. In Psalm 121:1, we read, “I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from?” The psalm then answers: “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. . . . The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore” (vv. 2, 8).

Sometimes our obstacles can seem insurmountable. But God invites us to look to Him to help us see beyond our troubles instead of letting them dominate our perspective.

By Adam Holz

Today’s Reflection

Father, help me not to “target fixate,” but to look to You whenever I face fearful obstacles as I seek to follow You along life’s road.

 

http://www.odb.org

Joyce Meyer – Bearing Fruit

 

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. — John 15:16

Adapted from the resource Starting Your Day Right Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

The Bible says that we are blessed if our confidence is in the Lord. We will be like trees planted by the waters that continue to bear fruit (see Jeremiah 17:7–8).

I admit that sometimes, at the end of a day, we may feel that all of our fruit has been picked! But God will replenish us if we abide in Him. If we put our trust in God, we will bear all kinds of fruit, and will have new fruit to share with others every morning.

Prayer Starter: Father, I’m nothing in myself—I can’t bear fruit without You! Right now, I take a moment to acknowledge Your presence. Please strengthen me—my mind, my body, and my spirit. Pour Your love into me so I can share it with others today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Will Tell You

 

“I advise you to obey only the Holy Spirit’s instructions. He will tell you where to go and what to do, and then you won’t always be doing the wrong things your evil nature wants you to” (Galatians 5:16).

Major conflicts in life are resolved when, by an act of the will, one surrenders to the control of the Holy Spirit and faces temptation in His power.

It should be explained that there is a difference between temptation and sin.

Temptation is the initial impression to do something contrary to God’s will. Such impressions come to all people, even as they did to the Lord, and they are not sin in themselves.

Temptation becomes sin when we meditate on the impression and develop a strong desire, which is often followed by the actual act of disobedience.

For practical daily living, we simply recognize our weakness whenever we are tempted and obey the Holy Spirit’s instructions. When we do not yield to temptation, we breathe spiritually and resume our walk with God.

“At what point does one who practices spiritual breathing become carnal again?” Whenever one ceases to believe God’s promise that He will enable us to be victorious over all temptations. The fact is, one need never be carnal again. So long as a believer keeps breathing spiritually, there is no need to live a life of defeat.

The moment you realize that you have done that which grieves or quenches the Spirit, you simply exhale spiritually by confessing immediately, and then inhale as by faith you claim God’s forgiveness and the fullness of the Holy Spirit, and you keep walking in the light as God is in the light.

Bible Reading:Galatians 5:17-26

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will consciously seek to obey the Holy Spirit’s instructions revealed to me in His holy, inspired Word.

 

http://www.cru.org