Charles Stanley – Reasons to Believe the Bible

 

2 Timothy 3:14-17

Have you ever wondered if you can trust what the Bible says? Although Scripture testifies to its own inspiration, there are also other evidences that affirm that the book we hold in our hands is the true and accurate Word of God.

Jesus believed Scripture.Our Savior affirmed the validity of the Old Testament by quoting passages as He taught. He used Isaiah’s prophecies and the Pentateuch to poke holes in the Pharisees’ false piety (Mark 7:6-13). And after His resurrection, He explained the things concerning Himself that had been written by Moses and the prophets (Luke 24:25-27). Finally, because Jesus had promised the Holy Spirit would teach the disciples and remind them of His words, He insured the accuracy of the New Testament as well (John 14:26).

Scripture is inexhaustible. Like a well that never runs dry, the Bible offers a fresh taste of living water each time we open it. People who have dedicated their lives to studying this amazing book admit they have only skimmed its surface. Personally, I can’t count the times that a passage I knew by heart suddenly yielded new insights.

Scripture is indestructible. Over the years, various governments and leaders have tried in vain to destroy the Bible, or at least restrict access to it. And yet this polarizing—and well-loved—book keeps circulating and winning hearts for Christ.

The Bible truly is the most amazing book ever written because it comes directly from God. Not only does it accurately predict the future; it also has the power to save sinners and transform them into saints.

Bible in One Year: Ruth 3-4

 

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Our Daily Bread — Bearing the Burden of Wrongs

 

Bible in a Year:Joshua 10–12; Luke 1:39–56

Do not repay evil with evil.

1 Peter 3:9

Today’s Scripture & Insight:1 Peter 3:8-14

On January 30, 2018, almost thirty-eight years after his conviction, Malcolm Alexander walked out of prison a free man. DNA evidence cleared Alexander, who had steadfastly maintained his innocence amid a myriad of court proceedings that were tragically unjust. An incompetent defense attorney (later disbarred), shoddy evidence, and dubious investigative tactics all put an innocent man in prison for nearly four decades. When he was finally released, however, Alexander showed immense grace. “You cannot be angry,” he said. “There’s not enough time to be angry.”

Alexander’s words evidence a deep grace. If injustice robbed us of thirty-eight years of our lives and destroyed our reputations, we would likely be angry, furious. Though Alexander spent many long, heartbreaking years bearing the burden of wrongs inflicted upon him, he wasn’t undone by the evil. Rather than exerting his energy trying to get revenge, he exhibited the posture Peter instructs: “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult” (1 Peter 3:9).

The Scriptures go a step further: rather than seeking vengeance, the apostle Peter tells us we are to bless (v. 9). We extend forgiveness, the hope of well-being, for those who have unjustly wronged us. Without excusing their evil actions, we can meet them with God’s scandalous mercy. On the cross, Jesus bore the burden of our wrongs, that we might receive grace and extend it to others—even those who have wronged us.

By Winn Collier

Today’s Reflection

Without excusing their actions, how can you extend mercy to others who have wronged you? What will it mean for you to “bless” them?

 

 

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Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Through Deeper Darkness

Professor and theologian James Loder was on vacation with his family when they noticed a motorist off to the side of the road waving for help. In his book The Transforming Moment, he describes kneeling at the front fender of this broken-down car, his head bent to examine the flat tire, when he was startled by the abrupt sound of screeching brakes. A motorist who had fallen asleep at the wheel was jarred awake seconds before his vehicle crashed into the disabled car alongside the road—and the man who knelt beside it. Loder was immediately pinned between two vehicles. The car he knelt to repair was now on his chest, his own vehicle underneath him.

Years after both the incident and the rehabilitation it required, Loder was compelled to describe the impact of that moment so marked by pain and tragedy, which was unexpectedly, something much more. Loder describes the incident: “At the hospital, it was not the medical staff, grateful as I was for them, but the crucifixes—in the lobby and in the patients’ rooms—that provided a total account of my condition. In that cruciform image of Christ, the combination of physical pain and the assurance of a life greater than death gave objective expression and meaning to the sense of promise and transcendence that lived within the midst of my suffering.”(1)

For the Christian, the crucifixion is the center of the whole, the event that gives voice to a broken, dark, and dying world, and the paradoxical suggestion of life somehow within it. This is why the church calendar sets apart forty days to prepare or the cross. This is why the church marks steeples and graves in memory of the crucifixion. The death of Christ is the occasion that makes way for the last to be first, the guilty to be pardoned, the creature united again to its creator. The cross of Christ is the mysterious sign that stands in the center of the history of the world and changes everything. “I have been crucified with Christ,” said one of his transformed followers. “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”

The suffering and death of Christ is indeed an image that gives expression to inexplicable tragedy, unnecessary suffering, and perplexing darkness. But the cross is also the event that jarringly marks that suffering, death, tragedy, and sorrow as qualities to which the vicariously human Son of God willingly submitted himself. It is thus that the broken and bleeding Loder could sense his condition understood in the image of a broken and bleeding Christ. “For surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases.” In the cruciform image of Christ on the cross, our own encounters of tragedy are not only affirmed, but held at God’s own volition. From the glory of heaven, Christ has come into the dark world where we stand.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Through Deeper Darkness

Joyce Meyer – Thoughts of the Heart

 

Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. — Matthew 12:33

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

The Bible says a tree is known by its fruit, and the same is true of you. You can look at a person’s attitude and know what kind of thinking is prevalent in their life. A sweet, kind person does not have mean, vindictive thoughts. By the same token, a truly evil person does not have good, loving thoughts.

Your thoughts bear fruit. Think good thoughts and the fruit in your life will be good. Think bad thoughts and the fruit in your life will be bad. Remember Proverbs 23:7(AMPC) and allow it to have an impact on your life: For as you think in your heart, so are you.

Prayer Starter: Thank You, Father, for the power of Your Word to renew my thoughts and transform every single area of my life. Help me to be aware of what is going on in my mind and to constantly choose positive, uplifting, faith-filled thoughts from Your Word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – How to Gain Understanding

 

“For ever, O Lord, Thy Word is settled in heaven. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations” (Psalm 119:89,90, KJV).

A story is told of a young woman who had been informed about a famous novel. She was interested in reading it, but as she began to read the novel, she found it dry and uninteresting. She would put it down to read something else, and then she would come back and try to read it again because her friends said it was an excellent book.

Even with the high recommendations of her friends, the book just did not captivate her. Then one day she met the author. He was very handsome and personable. They became interested in each other, and she fell in love with him.

Now she could hardly wait to read the novel. It was the most exciting book she had ever read, for she had fallen in love with the author.

This is what happens with the Scriptures when we love the Author, the Lord Jesus Christ.

During my years of skepticism and agnosticism, I found the Bible very dry and difficult to read and I believed it was filled with “all kinds of errors and inconsistencies.” Then after becoming a Christian I began to read the Bible again. It was a completely different book, filled with exciting, life-changing truth. All the “errors and contradictions” were gone.

Why the difference? The non-believer or disobedient Christian does not understand spiritual truth (1 Corinthians 2:14). The Spirit-filled believer is taught by the Holy Spirit, who illumines the truth which He revealed to the original authors as recorded in the Bible.

Bible Reading: Psalm 119:129-136

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I will ask God to give me a love for His holy, inspired Word. Then things that happen in my life which I do not understand will be made clear as I go to the source of all true understanding, the Word of God.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – When You Encounter Evil

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Jesus found him in a cemetery, and his story is in the fifth chapter of Mark.  As Jesus stepped out of a boat, a demon-possessed man stormed out of a cave.  The demons begged to be sent into a herd of pigs.  Jesus consented, and 2000 demon-possessed pigs threw themselves into the sea.

The people begged Jesus to leave their area.  Why?  Fear of change.  But before Jesus left, he told the man freed from demons to “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how he has had mercy on you.” That was the commissioning of the first missionary sent to people who dismissed Jesus.  Christ still sends messages to the unworthy.  And he still uses the unworthy as messengers.

Read more He Still Moves Stones

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

http://www.maxlucado.com

Denison Forum – President Trump endorses Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights

President Trump endorsed Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights yesterday, marking what the Wall Street Journal calls a “sharp U.S. policy shift.” The move came during US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to Israel and before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the White House next week.

Why does the region known as the “Golan Heights” matter to Israel and to the world?

An area twice the size of Dallas

The Golan Heights is an elongated, elevated area approximately forty miles long and twelve miles wide. It comprises 690 square miles (about twice the size of Dallas, Texas). The Golan (as it is known) borders Israel and the Sea of Galilee to the west, Syria to the east, Jordan to the south, and Lebanon to the north.

I have visited the area many times over the last twenty-five years. It is a spectacularly beautiful region dominated by hills and valleys. It is also one of the most strategic military areas in the world.

The Golan was part of Syria until the Six-Day War (June 5–10, 1967) between Israel and Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq. During the war, Israel gained control of the Golan and soon began settlements there. In the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Syrian forces overran the southern Golan in a surprise offensive before they were expelled by an Israeli counteroffensive.

Israel and Syria signed a ceasefire in 1974 that left most of the Golan in Israel’s control. In 1981, Israel passed the Golan Heights Law that effectively annexed the territory. The international community rejects Israel’s claim to the region, recognizing it as Syrian territory.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, who has long claimed that Israel must control the Golan to protect its national security, hailed Mr. Trump’s move. Critics say the president’s announcement will jeopardize peace efforts in the region and violates a UN resolution that rules out acquiring territory by war.

Three millennia of conflicted history

I have been leading a study tour to the Holy Land this week. Each time I come to Israel, I am impressed again by the courage of her people amid this chaotic region.

Continue reading Denison Forum – President Trump endorses Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights