Charles Stanley – God’s Financial Best

 

Malachi 3:7-18

The abundance of Bible verses that speak about money proves that God cares about our personal finances. Because it is an essential element of our lives, money can train us in stewardship, teach us self-control, and strengthen our obedience to the Lord.

Perhaps the greatest area of obedience involves our willingness to give. Old Testament law commanded financial contributions for upkeep of the temple and support of the Levites serving there. And the New Testament shows believers regularly setting a portion of their income aside for kingdom work (1 Corinthians 16:2).

However, fears and excuses sometimes keep us from faithfully carrying out this God-given responsibility. After all, giving away the money we need for paying our bills might seem foolish. But the Lord promises overflowing blessings to those who obey. In fact, He invites us to test Him in this to see if He will prove faithful (Mal. 3:10).

When we neglect our responsibility to give to the Lord, we express unbelief in His integrity and power, ingratitude for all He’s given us, and rebellion against His commands. And since the first part of our income belongs to Him, withholding it amounts to robbing God.

Don’t think that your financial situation will somehow prove too much for God and cause Him to break His promise. The trustworthiness of His Word depends on His character and omnipotence and is unaffected by your monetary challenges. Trust Him and give generously.

Bible in One Year:  Judges 13-15

 

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Standing with Courage

 

Bible in a Year:Deuteronomy 30–31; Mark 15:1–25

Be strong and courageous. . . . Do not be afraid or terrified.

Deuteronomy 31:6, 8

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Deuteronomy 31:1-8

While most German church leaders gave in to Hitler, theologian and pastor Martin Niemöller was among the brave souls who resisted Nazi evil. I read a story describing how in the 1970s a group of older Germans stood outside a large hotel while what appeared to be a younger man bustled about with the group’s luggage. Someone asked who the group was. “German pastors,” came the answer. “And the younger man?” “That’s Martin Niemöller—he’s eighty. But he has stayed young because he is unafraid.”

Niemöller wasn’t able to resist fear because he possessed some superhuman antifear gene, but because of God’s grace. In fact, he had once held anti-Semitic views. But he had repented and God restored him and helped him speak and live out the truth.

Moses encouraged the Israelites to resist fear and follow God in truth. When they’d become fearful after learning Moses would soon be taken from them, the leader had an unflinching word for them: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified . . . for the Lord your God goes with you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). There was no reason to tremble before an uncertain future because of one reason: God was with them.

Whatever darkness looms for you, whatever terrors bombard you—God is with you. By God’s mercy, may you face your fears with the knowledge that God “will never leave you nor forsake you” (vv. 6, 8).

By Winn Collier

Today’s Reflection

What fears are you facing? How does God’s presence bring courage to your heart?

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Streams in the Desert for Kids – We Win!

 

Mark 1:12

It happens to everyone—being tempted. It even happened to Jesus. No sooner had Jesus been baptized by his cousin John in the Jordan River than God’s Spirit led him into the desert. There the Devil came to him and tormented him, tempting him to use his power for his own glory instead of good. It was so bad that when it was over, angels had to come and take care of him.

If Jesus was tempted, you can be sure that you will be too. But here’s the good news. God made a promise about how he will help us. Here it is: “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it” (1 Corinthians 10:13, The Message).

There’s more good news. Being tempted is not sin. As long as we don’t give in to the temptation we have not sinned. And one more piece of good news is that if we “submit [ourselves], then, to God [and] resist the devil … he will flee from [us]” (James 4:7). We will always win because God is with us.

Dear Lord, Thank you for making a way for us to escape sin when we are tempted. Help me when I am tempted to remember that Jesus was tempted too and he came through it without sinning. I know Jesus can help me when I am tempted. Amen

Joyce Meyer – Let God Help You

 

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. — John 15:5

Adapted from the resource The Power of Being Thankful Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

There have been times when we have all tried to handle our circumstances instead of trusting God to take care of them for us. It is not a sign of weakness to admit that we cannot help ourselves—it is the truth. You may be frustrated, struggling, and unhappy simply because you are trying to fix something you cannot do anything about. You may be trying to change something that only God can change.

While you are waiting for God to take care of the situation, I encourage you to be thankful that God is in control and to decide to enjoy the wait. That may be hard because it takes patience, but it pays marvelous dividends in the end. Waiting on God honors Him, and the Bible says that the person who honors God will be honored by Him (see 1 Samuel 2:30 NIV).

Prayer Starter: I thank You today, Father, that I don’t have to handle my circumstances on my own, but that You are here to help me. While I wait on You, help me to enjoy the process, knowing that You have good things in store. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Do the Will of God

 

“And the world is fading away, and these evil, forbidden things will go with it, but whoever keeps doing the will of God will live forever” (1 John 2:17).

There are few questions more frequently asked of me than this, “How can I know God’s will for my life?” or “How can I know what God wants me to do in this particular situation?”

“When I was crossing the Irish Channel one starless night,” said F.B. Meyer, a saint of yesteryear, “I stood on the deck by the captain and asked him, ‘How do you know Holyhead Harbor on so dark a night as this?’

“‘You see those three lights?’ he asked. ‘All of them must line up together as one, and when we see them so united, we know the exact position of the harbor’s mouth.’

“When we want to know God’s will, there are three things which always concur: the inward impulse, the Word of God and the trend of circumstances – God in the heart and God in circumstance, indicating His will. Never start until these three things agree.”

If we are to keep doing the will of God, as this verse in 1 John suggests, it is of course imperative that we know how to determine the will of God. F.B. Meyer’s words of wisdom, based on years of experience, are a good starting point.

The average person lives his life, dies and vanishes from the world scene, soon to be forgotten. But the influence of all who do God’s will lives on forever. Therefore, every individual should frequently and carefully evaluate how he invests his time, talents and treasure to be sure he truly is living not for worldly values but for the cause of Jesus Christ.

“Only one life, ’twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.”

Bible Reading: Romans 12:1-3

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  As clearly as I am able to discern God’s will for my life, I will follow Him and do His will instead of following the ways of the anti-God world system which is fading away.

 

http://www.cru.org