Charles Stanley – The Word Implanted

 

James 1:21-25

Most Christians are taught early on to incorporate a devotional time into their day. This typically includes Scripture reading and prayer, both of which are essential for spiritual growth. But occasionally we should evaluate what effect this practice is having in us. In other words, we should ask, Is my quiet time accomplishing God’s purpose, or has it simply become a ritual I do out of habit or duty?

James says we need the Word to be implanted in us. This first happens when we hear and believe the gospel, which leads us to salvation. Peter describes salvation as being born again “through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Peter 1:23). But the implanted Word does even more—it sanctifies us. That’s why Jesus prayed to His Father, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” (John 17:17). Sanctification is the process by which believers are progressively transformed into Christlikeness in conduct, conversation, and character. And the means God uses is His Word.

When Scripture is implanted in us, it roots out sins and produces righteousness. A quiet time shouldn’t be like the description in James 1:24 of someone who looks in a mirror and then forgets what he’s seen. Instead, it should involve an intent look into God’s Word, which changes us inwardly. Divine truth penetrates the heart, mind, and will and ultimately expresses itself in obedience.

Is your quiet time bearing spiritual fruit, or have you become satisfied with a routine glance at the Bible? For the Word to implant in your soul, some digging is required—and also patience as you wait for spiritual fruit to develop.

Bible in One Year: Numbers 6-7

 

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Our Daily Bread — Living with the Lights On

 

Bible in a Year:Leviticus 8–10; Matthew 25:31–46

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

Psalm 119:105

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Psalm 119:9-16

A work assignment had taken my coworker and me on a 250-mile journey, and it was late when we began our trip home. An aging body with aging eyes makes me a bit uneasy about nighttime driving; nevertheless, I opted to drive first. My hands gripped the steering wheel and my eyes gazed intently at dimly lit roads. While driving I found I could see better when lights from vehicles behind me beamed on the highway ahead. I was much relieved when my friend eventually took the wheel of his vehicle. That’s when he discovered I had been driving with fog lights and not the headlights!

Psalm 119 is the masterful composition of one who understood that God’s Word provides us with light for everyday living (v. 105). Yet, how often do we find ourselves in situations similar to my uncomfortable night on the highway? We needlessly strain to see, and we sometimes stray from the best paths because we forget to use the light of God’s Word. Psalm 119 encourages us to be intentional about “hitting the light switch.” What happens when we do? We find wisdom for purity (vv. 9–11); we discover fresh motivation and encouragement for avoiding detours (vv. 101–102). And when we live with the lights on, the psalmist’s praise is likely to become our praise: “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long” (v. 97).

By Arthur Jackson

Today’s Reflection

Father, please fill my heart with Your Word so I can have the light I need for today!

 

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Streams in the Desert for Kids – Determined

 

Luke 18:1

David Livingstone was one of the greatest missionary doctors who ever lived. But when he was struggling on his expeditions, he didn’t look so great. His exploration of the River Zambezi was a failure—the river could not be navigated. He kept trying to find a way until the British government ordered him home. After that, no one wanted to give him more money to return for more explorations.

After a while, he somehow found the money to return to Africa. Once he got there, no one heard from him for six years. Many thought he was dead, but he was not. Although he was seriously ill, he was determined to stay in Africa until his mission was complete. He stubbornly continued to explore. Finally, he died and his friends carried his body a thousand miles to the coast so that he could be returned to England and honored with a proper burial.

At the time he died, many people thought Livingstone’s whole life was a failure. But now, many years later, we know he traveled 29,000 miles in Africa, and that he made important geographical discoveries for Great Britain, such as Victoria Falls and four important lakes. He explored Central Africa so missionaries could go there. He was honored by African chiefs. He spoke out against slavery. And others who knew him were inspired to build schools to educate African children. Much good has come of his life.

One of the things Livingstone said was, “I determined never to stop until I had come to the end and achieved my purpose.” That means he decided he would never give up, and it explains a lot about who he was. It also helps us understand that we must not give up praying for whatever it is we want and need from God.

Dear Lord, First help me know what I should pray for, and then make me determined never to stop praying and talking with you. Amen

Joyce Meyer – Having a Willing Heart

 

And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.” — 2 Samuel 7:3

Adapted from the resource Closer to God Each Day Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

A willing heart is a heart that “wants to.” If there is something we want to do strongly enough, somehow we will find a way to do it.

With God’s help and a willing heart, we can have a close relationship with Him, keep our house clean, save money, get out of debt, or reach any other goal in life we may have set for ourselves. Our victory or defeat has a lot to do with our “want to.”

Many times we lay the blame for our failures on the enemy, other people, the past, and on and on. But the bottom line may be that we just don’t have enough of the right kind of “want to.”

If you really want to be closer to God, I believe you will be. Your willing heart will cause you to seek Him with a new passion. You’ll choose to spend time each day in prayer and studying the Word. God will see your heart and draw close to you even as you are drawing close to Him.

Prayer Starter: Lord, help me to have a willing heart to seek You and make wise decisions for my life. Help me to not be led by my emotions but instead be motivated by what I know is right to do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – God’s Word Gives Joy and Light

 

“God’s laws are perfect. They protect us, make us wise, and give us joy and light” (Psalm 19:7,8).

Professor William Lyon Phelps, one of Yale University’s most famous scholars, said, “A knowledge of the Bible without a college education is more valuable than a college education without the Bible.”

Why would he say this? Our verse gives us the answer. The Word of God (1) protects us, (2) makes us wise, (3) gives us joy, and (4) gives us light.

There are many other benefits that come from reading the Word of God. With dividends like these, we are indeed robbing ourselves of untold blessings when we neglect His holy, inspired Word for any reason whatever.

It is my privilege to counsel many thousands of people with just about every kind of problem conceivable – need for salvation, poor self-image, marital problems, financial problems, health problems, loss of loved ones, insecurity, fear, and on and on. One could think of every kind of personal need and problem that man faces, and inevitably there is an answer in the Word of God.

I do not know of any individual who has ever received Christ without some understanding of the Word of God. It is for this reason that I included in The Four Spiritual Laws booklet, which I wrote in the 1950’s, the parenthetical statement on page 2: “References contained in this booklet should be read in context from the Bible wherever possible.”

By 1983, it was estimated that more than a billion copies of The Four Spiritual Laws, which contains the distilled essence of the gospel, had been printed (including translations into every major language) and distributed throughout the world, resulting in many millions of people responding to Christ. Still, it cannot compare with God’s Word, nor can any other piece of Christian or secular literature. There is something unique and powerful about holding the Bible in your hand and reading it with your own eyes, for it speaks with authority and power possessed by no other book ever written.

Bible Reading:2 Timothy 3:14-17

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: God’s Word is the most important book ever written, and the most important book that I could possibly read. Today I will read it for at least 15 minutes with renewed devotion, dedication and sensitivity to its mighty revolutionary power to transform lives and enable children of God to live supernaturally.

 

http://www.cru.org