Charles Stanley –How the Bible Is Structured

 

Psalm 119:89-96

One of the reasons we sometimes fail to understand the Bible is because we skip around as we read it. The Bible has an organized structure, and all the parts fit together as a whole. By reading through it systematically, we’ll see God’s plan of redemption clearly revealed in an orderly fashion.

The Plan. In Genesis 1 and 2, the Lord created the heavens and earth and all that fills them, but His plan of redemption through the death of His Son was already in place before creation (1 Peter 1:18-21).

The Need. In Genesis 3, sin entered the world, but God sacrificed an animal to cover the sinners’ shame and promised to send a Redeemer.

Preparation. God eventually chose the nation Israel, through whom He proclaimed Himself as the one true God and brought the Messiah into the world.

Redemption. The Gospels document how Jesus came as the Messiah, died as God’s sacrifice for man’s sin, was resurrected, and ascended to heaven.

Proclamation. The book of Acts tells of the growth of the church through the spread of the gospel.

Explanation. God inspired the apostles to write letters to the churches regarding the faith and instructions for spiritual growth.

Completion. The book of Revelation reveals Christ’s future kingdom, in which His followers join Him eternally in a new heaven and a new earth.

Even though God’s Word is organized in sections, do not forget that it functions as a whole. Once you understand the Bible’s outline, you can see how all the diverse elements connect to make one story of redemption.

Bible in One Year: 1 Samuel 1-3

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Obscured by Clouds

 

Bible in a Year:Joshua 13–15; Luke 1:57–80

We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.

2 Corinthians 4:18

Today’s Scripture & Insight:2 Corinthians 4:16–18

A rare supermoon appeared in November 2016—the moon in its orbit reached its closest point to the earth in over sixty years and so appeared bigger and brighter than at other times. But for me that day the skies were shrouded in gray. Although I saw photos of this wonder from friends in other places, as I gazed upward I had to trust that the supermoon was lurking behind the clouds.

The apostle Paul faced many hardships but believed that what is unseen will last forever. He said how his “momentary troubles” achieve “an eternal glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17). Thus he could fix his eyes “not on what is seen, but on what is unseen,” because what is unseen is eternal (v. 18). Paul yearned that the Corinthians and our faith would grow, and although we suffer, that we too would trust in God. We might not be able to see Him, but we can believe He is renewing us day by day (v. 16).

I thought about how God is unseen but eternal when I gazed at the clouds that day, knowing that the supermoon was hidden but there. And I hoped the next time I was tempted to believe that God was far from me, I would fix my eyes on what is unseen.

By Amy Boucher Pye

Today’s Reflection

What does it mean for you to fix your eyes on what is unseen? How does your hope in Jesus help you face the difficulties of life?

 

http://www.odb.org

Joyce Meyer – Get Moving

 

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask what I shall do for you, before I am taken from you.” And Elisha said, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me.” And he said, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it shall be so for you, but if you do not see me, it shall not be so.” — 2 Kings 2:9-10

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

Just as under-confidence comes with its list of symptoms, the same is true of confidence. A confident person believes they are loved, valuable, cared for, and safe in God’s will. When we feel secure, it’s easy to step out and take a chance on failing in order to try to succeed.

When we know we are loved for ourselves and not just for our accomplishments or performance, we no longer need to fear failure. We realize that failing at something does not make us a failure at everything. We are free to explore and find out what we are best suited to do. We are free to find our own niche in life, which is not possible without stepping out.

Trial and error is the road to success, and you can’t drive that road as long as your car is parked. So, get moving, and God will direct you. When people are confident, they try things, and they keep trying until they find a way to be successful in what God has called them to do.

Prayer Starter: Lord, I want to explore all that You have for me, and I accept there may be failures. Show me the way to be successful for You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Loving and Kind

 

“But His joy is in those who reverence Him, those who expect Him to be loving and kind” (Psalm 147:11).

Can you imagine an intelligent person saying no to Christ if he fully understood how much God loves him and if he realized that when he receives Christ his sins are all forgiven and he is given eternal life together with new meaning and purpose for his present life?

The non-believer who does not know all these things continues to live in disobedience, rejecting God’s love and forgiveness. Why? Simply because he does not understand; he lacks information.

It is difficult to imagine a person saying no to such a wonderful life of challenge and adventure with the risen Christ if that person knows all the facts about who Christ is and why He came to this world. It is the same with the Christian who is living in spiritual poverty. He often continues to live a frustrated, fruitless life, simply because he just does not understand who the Holy Spirit is and what the supernatural life is all about. But lack of knowledge is not the only obstacle to enjoying the supernatural life.

Pride: Pride, which is an exaltation of self instead of God, is the root cause of all sin. This defeating aspect of our human nature has kept many Christians from living supernaturally. Pride is not the same as a God-given healthy love and acceptance of oneself.

Fear of man: Peer pressure keeps many Christians from living the supernatural life. “The fear of man brings a snare” (Proverbs 29:25, NAS).

Many are afraid to be different, or are ashamed to witness for Jesus Christ who loved us and gave Himself for us. “But His joy is in those who reverence Him, those who expect Him to be loving and kind.”

Bible Reading: Psalm 147:5-10

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I will claim the enabling power of the Holy Spirit to overcome pride and fear of man, I will reverence the Lord and expect Him to be loving and kind as He promised.

 

 

http://www.cru.org