Charles Stanley –Living Without Goals

 

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Some of us are natural planners who know what we want to accomplish and set out to achieve it, whereas others are more flexible and spontaneous. Both approaches are determined by personality, background, and other factors but come with their own dangers. The organized people may be so focused on controlling their life that they leave God out of the picture, and the easygoing folks may end up never accomplishing what God intended for them.

In today’s passage, we see the Christian life compared to a race. As believers, we are admonished to exercise discipline and self-control in order to obediently follow the heavenly Father’s plan for our life. Otherwise our efforts will be as unproductive as a boxer who throws wild punches and never hits his mark.

Going through life without any objectives leads to wasted time and energy, mindless drifting, and mediocrity. After all, you can’t aim for nothing and expect to hit a bull’s eye. This is true in relationships, work, finances, and personal goals, but it’s also true of our spiritual life. Paul’s desire to fulfill the ministry God gave him was so strong that he was willing to give up his rights in order to reach the lost with the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). Therefore, the apostle made his body his slave in order to finish the Christian life well.

One day we will all stand before Christ to give an account of our life and have our works evaluated by Him in the judgment (1 Corinthians 3:10-15). Therefore, today we must live with the goal of honoring God and bearing fruit as we seek His will.

Bible in One Year: Exodus 34-35

 

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Our Daily Bread — Righteous Among the Nations

 

Bible in a Year:Exodus 16–18; Matthew 18:1–20

For such a time as this.

Esther 4:14

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Esther 4:5-14

At Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum in Israel, my husband and I went to the Righteous Among the Nations garden that honors the men and women who risked their lives to save Jewish people during the Holocaust. While looking at the memorial, we met a group from the Netherlands. One woman was there to see her grandparents’ names listed on the large plaques. Intrigued, we asked about her family’s story.

Members of a resistance network, the woman’s grandparents Rev. Pieter and Adriana Müller took in a two-year-old Jewish boy and passed him off as the youngest of their eight children from 1943–1945.

Moved by the story, we asked, “Did the little boy survive?” An older gentleman in the group stepped forward and proclaimed, “I am that boy!”

The bravery of many to act on behalf of the Jewish people reminds me of Queen Esther. The queen may have thought she could escape King Xerxes’s decree to annihilate the Jews around 475 bc because she had concealed her ethnicity. However, she was convinced to act—even under the threat of death—when her cousin begged her to not remain silent about her Jewish heritage because she had been placed in her position “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).

We may never be asked to make such a dramatic decision. However, we will likely face the choice to speak out against an injustice or remain silent; to provide assistance to someone in trouble or turn away. May God grant us courage.

By Lisa Samra

Today’s Reflection

Are there those you need to speak up for? Ask God about the timing.

 

http://www.odb.org

 

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Winning with God

 

Romans 8:37

There were some ancient people known as Phrygians who lived in what is now the country of Turkey. They believed that when you conquered an enemy, some of the enemy’s physical strength passed into you. That’s just a myth, of course. But when we Christians struggle against sin and win, we grow stronger. We grow more powerful not from the enemy, but from Christ’s strength. Then we can face the next battle stronger. We become more than conquerors because we have Jesus fighting with us against the enemy.

God knows that every day that we try to live for him, we are fighting a war with an enemy. Satan doesn’t want us serving God. He’d rather hurt us than see us become conquerors with Christ. But through the mighty powers of God’s Son, we can defeat the enemy and become great warriors in God’s kingdom.

Dear Lord, I know that with you all things are possible. Please give me your strength to help me beat the enemy. Amen.

Joyce Meyer – Break the Mediocre Mold

 

The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. — Titus 3:8

Adapted from the resource The Confident Women Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

The world is not hungry for mediocrity. This world needs 10s. I believe everyone can be a 10 at something, but we often work so hard on trying to overcome our weaknesses that we never develop our strengths.

Whatever we focus on grows larger in our eyes—too large, in fact. We can turn something into a huge problem when, in reality, it would be a minor nuisance if only we viewed it in perspective with our strengths.

For example, let’s say you are not a “numbers” kind of person. You could obsess about your inability to “do the math” and maybe even take a class at the community college.

But that obsession could eat up time that could be devoted to stuff you’re great at—like teaching Sunday school, creative writing, or raising funds for charity. You rob time and effort from the 10s in your life just to bring a lowly three up to a mediocre five.

Prayer Starter: Lord, I dedicate myself to developing and using my strengths for Your honor and glory. I want to excel at what I am gifted to do. Help me to know my strengths and to handle my weaknesses in a way that does not distract me from being effective for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Orders Your Steps

 

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and He delighteth in his way” (Psalm 37:23, KJV).

Miriam Booth – a beautiful, brilliant, cultured woman – daughter of the Salvation Army founder, began her Christian work with great promise. She had unusual success. Before long, however, disease struck her and brought her to the point of death. A friend visiting her one day said it seemed a pity that a woman so capable should be hindered by illness from doing the Lord’s work. “It is great to do the Lord’s work,” she replied with gentle grace, “but it is greater to do the Lord’s will.”

Are you looking for direction, for purpose, for meaning to your life?

The psalmist wanted to make it very plain that the person who is “good,” the one who is clothed with the righteousness, the goodness of Christ, can have the absolute assurance that His steps, one by one, moment by moment, hour by hour, day by day, are ordered by the Lord (planned and directed by Him).

That wonderful truth is made even more meaningful by the reminder that our “stops” as well are directed by the Lord. He knows when we need to slow down, to wait on Him. As a Christian leader once said, after several weeks of being bedridden: “I needed to be flat on my back so that the only way I could look was up.”

Finding the will of God has been difficult for many people – for most of us at one time or another. But the truth remains that He promises to give wisdom to any who ask, and we have that privilege when we belong to Him by virtue of having received the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.

If you are facing a crossroad in your life, wait on Him and avoid the usual rush to a decision that might be disastrous. “He is faithful who promised.” Depend upon Him to make the way clear as you lay the decision prayerfully before Him.

Bible Reading:Isaiah 58:9-14

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: When I need wisdom for a specific decision today, I will breathe an earnest prayer for direction. Then I will thank God for the clear leading which He promises and for enabling me to continue living the supernatural life, as He directs my steps.

 

 

http://www.cru.org