Charles Stanley – Who Is Jesus?

 

Matthew 16:13-20

When Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matt. 16:15-16). The Lord asks us the same question, though not with audible words. There are many answers, but let’s check Scripture for three overarching truths:

  1. Jesus is God the Son—a member of the Trinity. After His baptism, the heavens opened, the Holy Spirit descended like a dove, and the Father Himself announced, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased” (Matt. 3:17).
  2. Christ is the Savior of mankind. When Adam and Eve chose to sin against Jehovah, there was a separation between God and man. In Old Testament times, an animal sacrifice was necessary to atone for the wrong in one’s life. But that was a temporary solution, until Jesus—the perfect sacrifice—atoned once for all sin. He was the only One who could satisfy God’s requirement for a Savior, because He had no sin (2 Corinthians 5:21).
  3. He is our High Priest. In Old Testament times, a mediator—often a temple priest—interceded between God and man, offering an animal’s blood as atonement for sin. Jesus’ death and resurrection took away the need for such sacrifices. Christ now stands as our intercessor, the bridge between Holy God and sinful man (Heb. 7:25-26).

Who do you believe Jesus is? These characteristics of Christ are taken directly from the Bible. Do they align with your understanding? Check your view of Him against the standard of Scripture. Then ask the Lord to reveal Himself so that you can know Him accurately and personally.

Bible in One Year: 1 Samuel 4-6

 

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Our Daily Bread — Singing in the Spirit

 

Bible in a Year:Joshua 16–18; Luke 2:1–24

Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.

Ephesians 5:18–19

Today’s Scripture & Insight:2 Chronicles 5:7–14

During the Welsh Revivals of the early twentieth century, Bible teacher and author G. Campbell Morgan described what he observed. He believed the presence of God’s Holy Spirit was moving on “billowing waves of sacred song.” Morgan wrote that he had seen the unifying influence of music in meetings that encouraged voluntary prayers, confession, and spontaneous singing. If someone got carried away by their feelings and prayed too long, or spoke in a way that didn’t resonate with others, someone would begin to softly sing. Others would gently join in, the chorus swelling in volume until drowning out all other sound.

The renewal in song that Morgan describes has its story in the Scriptures, where music plays a prominent role. Music was used to celebrate victories (Exodus 15:1–21); in worshipful dedication of the temple (2 Chronicles 5:12–14); and as a part of military strategy (20:21–23). At the center of the Bible we find a songbook (Psalms 1–150). And in Paul’s New Testament letter to the Ephesians we read this description of life in the Spirit: “[Speak] to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:19).

In conflict, in worship, in all of life, the music of our faith can help us find one voice. In harmonies old and new we’re renewed again and again, not by might, nor by power, but the Spirit and songs of our God.

By Mart DeHaan

Today’s Reflection

What song has spoken to your heart recently? How can music encourage you in your relationship with God?

 

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Streams in the Desert for Kids – They Didn’t Even Get Their Feet Wet!

 

Psalm 66:1-2, 6

The Bible is full of stories about how God helped his people when they faced impossible obstacles. When God parted both the Jordan River and the Red Sea so his people could cross over, the pathway through was completely dry. They didn’t even get their sandals wet. When Jonah was thrown overboard, God sent the big fish to save him from drowning and get him to dry land. When Naaman faced a debilitating disease, God told his prophet Elisha how Naaman could be miraculously healed in the Jordan River.

Our God is one of miracles and grand gestures of love. Because he loved us first, we are privileged to love him back, even when facing big problems—especially when facing big problems. In the Bible, Job faced exceptional pain and tragedy when he lost his home, his possessions, his health, and, worst of all, his family. And yet in his grief, he demonstrated love for the Lord who loved him first. “At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said … ‘The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised’” (Job 1:20–21). The same God who chose to save his people with miracles didn’t spare Job from his pain. But God still delighted in Job. And Job still rejoiced in God. Their relationship was deep and it helped Job face his tragedy.

Dear Lord, I don’t know when I’ll have to face something really hard. What I do know is that you go ahead of me and make it possible for me to pass through hardship. Thank you for loving me that much, Father. Amen

Joyce Meyer – He Will Tell You What’s Ahead

 

…He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future]. — John 16:13 (AMPC)

Adapted from the resource Hearing from God Each Morning Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

One of the many benefits of hearing from God is that listening to His voice helps us prepare for the future. The Holy Spirit gives to us the messages the Father gives to Him, and He often tells us things that will happen in the future.

We find many instances in the Bible in which God spoke to people and gave them information about the future. He told Noah to prepare for a flood that would come to destroy the people of the earth (see Genesis 6:13–17). He told Moses to go to Pharaoh and ask for the release of the Israelites and that Pharaoh would not grant this request (see Exodus 7).

Obviously, God does not tell us everything that will happen in the future, but His Word promises He will tell us some things.

There are times when I sense that something good, or perhaps something challenging, is going to happen. When a challenge awaits me and I have some prior knowledge of it, that knowledge helps to cushion the blow when the difficult situation comes.

If an automobile with good shock absorbers hits a pothole, those absorbers protect passengers in the car from the jarring impact that would result and no one gets hurt. God’s giving us information ahead of time works the same way.

Part of the Holy Spirit’s ministry is to tell us things to come. He knows the mind of God and He knows God’s individual plans for our lives. He will reveal what we need to know when we need to know it in order to fulfill the good plans God has for us.

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for the ministry of Your Holy Spirit, Who speaks to our hearts and shows us what we need to know. Help me to be sensitive to Your Spirit at all times. Open my eyes to the things I need to see today and in the future. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – According to Your Faith

 

“Then touched He their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you” (Matthew 9:29, KJV).

A poor heathen woman, after receiving Christ as her Savior, was remarkable for her simple faith. She decided to take Him literally at His word.

A few months after her conversion her little child became ill, and recovery was doubtful. Ice was needed for the little one, but in that tropical country, away from the world’s large cities, such a thing was not to be had.

“I’m going to ask God to send ice,” the mother said to a missionary.

“Oh,” came the quick reply, “but you can’t expect that He will do that.”

“Why not?” asked the simple-hearted believer. “He has all the power, and He loves us. You told us so. I’ll ask Him, and I believe He’ll send it.”

She did ask Him, and strange things began to happen. Soon there came up a heavy thunderstorm, accompanied by hail. The woman was able to gather a large quantity of hailstones. The cold application was just what the child needed. Recovery of the sick child soon followed. In our sophistication and intellectualism we, like the missionary and most other Christians, would tend to question the audacity of such a prayer.

Faith as a little child always brings the desired answer. “According to your faith be it unto you.” And where does such faith originate? “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”

Bible Reading: Matthew 9:27-31

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  If my storehouse of faith proves insufficient to enable me to live supernaturally or to believe God for a specific need, I will spend time in His Word to build up that storehouse of faith.

 

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