Charles Stanley – Acquiring Wisdom

 

Proverbs 4:20-27

The most obvious source of godly wisdom is the Bible. There we find the Lord’s principles for right character, conduct, and conversation, which apply to the situations and decisions that confront every human being.

We’re all able to recall times when we didn’t respond wisely. Those incidents can be traced back to one of two possibilities—either we didn’t know a certain biblical principle or we knew the principle that applied but chose to ignore it. To ensure that we’re familiar with God’s standards and the importance of following them, we have to spend time reading and understanding His Word.

For example, suppose that you walk into the office and a coworker verbally assaults you with undeserved blame for a costly mistake. Your flesh and the world would have you respond in kind with anger and malice. But Luke 6:27-29 offers a different approach, that might go something like this, spoken gently: “Is there anything else? Thank you for telling me how you feel about this.”

Knowledge comes from learning biblical principles; wisdom has to do with applying them. The Lord cautions us to keep His Word in our heart and in our head so we will heed His instructions (Josh. 1:8; Prov. 8:33).

In pursuing the Christian life, we acquire wisdom by absorbing Scripture, doing what it says, and observing the result, which is for our good even when consequences appear less than favorable. Special classes aren’t required; God simply wants an obedient heart and willing spirit.

Bible in One Year: Judges 1-3

 

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Our Daily Bread — Homeless by Choice

 

Bible in a Year:Deuteronomy 20–22; Mark 13:21–37

Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Hebrews 2:18

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Hebrews 2:9-18

Keith Wasserman has chosen to be homeless for a few days every year since 1989 in order to grow in love and compassion. “I go to live on the streets to expand my perspective and understanding” of people who have no homes to live in, says Keith, executive director of Good Works, Inc.

I’m wondering whether Keith’s approach to become one with those he’s serving might be a small picture of what Jesus did for us. God Himself, the Creator of the universe, chose to confine Himself to the vulnerable state of a baby, to live as a human, to experience what we all experience, and to ultimately die at the hand of humans so that we can experience a relationship with God.

The writer of the book of Hebrews stated that Jesus “shared in [our] humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil” (2:14). Jesus was made lower than the angels, even though He’s their Creator (v. 9). He became human and died, even though He’s immortal. And He suffered for us, even though He’s the all-powerful God. Why would He do this? So that He could help us when we go through temptations and bring reconciliation between us and God (vv. 17–18).

May we experience His love today, knowing He understands our humanity and has already provided the way for us to be cleansed from our sins.

By Estera Pirosca Escobar

Today’s Reflection

Have you come to Jesus and experienced His love and forgiveness? If yes, how does this reality affect your life today? If not, will you receive Him today?

 

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Ravi Zacharias Ministry – In Defiance, Hope?

For many Jewish people living after the Holocaust, God’s absence is an ever-present reality. It is as tangible as the concentration camps at Auschwitz and Dachau, and as haunting as the empty chair at a table once occupied with a loved one long-silenced by the gas chambers. In his tragic account of the horror and loss in the camps at Auschwitz, Elie Wiesel intones the cries of many who likewise experienced God’s absence: “It is the end. God is no longer with us….I know that Man is too small, too humble, and inconsiderable to seek to understand the mysterious ways of God. But what can I do? Where is the divine Mercy? Where is God? How can I believe? How can anyone believe in this merciful God?”(1)

This experience of absence, dramatic in its implications for the victims of the Holocaust, has repeated itself over and over again in the ravaged stories of those who struggle to hold on to faith, or those who have lost faith altogether in the face of personal holocaust. In a world where tragedy and suffering are daily realities seemingly unchecked by divine government, the absence of God seems a cruel abdication.

The words of Job, ancient in origin, speak of this same kind of experience:

Behold, I go forward, but He is not there,
And backward, but I cannot perceive Him;
When He acts on the left, I cannot behold Him;
He turns on the right, I cannot see Him.(2)

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Joyce Meyer – Humbly Leaning on the Lord

 

…Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” — 1 Peter 5:5

Adapted from the resource Trusting God Day by Day Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

Humility is knowing we cannot succeed by trusting in ourselves and our own human effort. Instead, we trust in God, thankful that He does what we cannot.

As we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and lean on Him at all times, He always equips us to do what we should be doing. Most human failure comes from people trying to do things in their own strength without relying on God.

I have found that when I feel frustrated, it is because I am exerting fleshly effort trying to do something that only God can do. I suggest that when you feel frustrated that you stop and ask yourself if you are doing the same thing.

Works of the flesh equal frustration, and works of the flesh mean that I am working without God.

We can live the joyful, overcoming life God has for us when we realize God helps those who know they cannot help themselves—those who realize they are totally dependent on Him and are grateful that He will provide everything they need.

Prayer Starter: Father, I am thankful that I do not have to depend on my own strength or best effort to get through life. Thank You that You are here to guide me and help me each day. I trust You and I place my life in Your hands. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

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Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Nothing Against You

 

“This includes you who were once so far away from God. You were his enemies and hated him and were separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions, yet now He has brought you back as His friends. He has done this through the death on the cross of His own human body, and now as a result Christ has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are standing there before Him with nothing left against you – nothing left that He could ever chide you for” (Colossians 1:21,22).

Have you ever claimed your right to holiness, not by virtue of anything you have done, but on the basis of what Christ has done and is doing for you?

This passage of Scripture explains how holiness is available to every believer. By acknowledging and receiving His gift of eternal life through Christ, we have been brought into the very presence of God. Now we are candidates for the supernatural filling of the Holy Spirit.

After we have claimed our right to holiness, we must confess all our known sins and appropriate, by faith, the fullness of the Holy Spirit, asking Him to give us spiritual insight into the true meaning of God’s Word.

“And so, dear brothers, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living sacrifice, holy – the kind He can accept. When you think of what He has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don’t copy the fashions and customs of this world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will see from your own experience how His ways will really satisfy you” (Romans 12:1,2).

Bible Reading: II Corinthians 5:17-21

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  By faith I will claim my right to holiness and, on the basis of Christ’s finished work on the cross in our behalf, I will encourage others to do the same.

 

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Max Lucado – Dealing with Disappointment

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

There is a line, a fine line, which once crossed can be fatal. It’s the line between disappointment and anger.  If you are nearing that line, I urge you not to cross it.

When God doesn’t do what we want, it’s not easy.  Never has been.  Never will be.  But faith is the conviction that God knows more than we do about this life, and he will get us through it.  Remember, disappointment is caused by unmet expectations.  And disappointment is cured by revamped expectations.

God is still in control.  Life’s mishaps and tragedies are not a reason to bail out.  They are simply a reason to sit tight. Next time you are disappointed, don’t panic.  Don’t jump out.  Don’t give up.  Just be patient and let God remind you he’s still in control.  It ain’t over till it’s over.

Read more He Still Move Stones

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

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Denison Forum – A principal reads to her students on Facebook Live: How technology can and can’t improve our lives

I don’t know what you did last night, but I’ll bet it wasn’t more significant than the way Belinda George spent her evening.

Dr. George is the first-year principal of Homer Drive Elementary School in Beaumont, Texas. Her students’ reading scores last year were low, so she launched “Tucked-in Tuesdays” in December.

She dresses in costumes, from a onesie with a unicorn head to a Cookie Monster outfit to pajamas covered with pink hearts. When her students log on to their school’s Facebook page, she reads books to them over her iPhone. She acts out the stories as the kids type in questions.

Dr. George grew up with five sisters in a three-bedroom trailer. Her father never learned to read. She learned her love of reading from her school librarian in Louisiana. Now she is paying it forward.

3-D printed houses and robot-delivered meals

Technology affects every dimension of our lives today, from the airplanes we ride to the cars we drive, the homes we inhabit, the food we eat, and the air we breathe. The innovations of our day can be a force for tremendous good, as Dr. George’s Facebook Live reading sessions show.

Other examples: A Texas company says it has developed a way to build homes in just a few days using 3-D printing, saving 30 percent off total construction costs. Companies are testing automated cooler-sized robots that can deliver food to any address.

Technology is also helping police with crimes that have been unsolved for years, if not decades. One genealogist has predicted that suspects in hundreds of unsolved murders and rapes will be identified using public DNA databases in the near future. Last week, for instance, DNA and genetic genealogy helped police find a woman who left her newborn baby to die thirty-eight years ago.

Selfie-taker attacked by a jaguar

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