Charles Stanley –Praying God’s Desires


Colossians 1:9-12

As Christians, we all long to make necessary changes in our life so we’ll become more like Jesus. And we’re also concerned about the spiritual growth of fellow believers—especially our loved ones. But transformation doesn’t come about by trying harder or putting Bible verses on sticky notes in hopes that family members will read them and shape up. The most powerful resource we have is prayer, and Paul has given us a pattern that is Christ-centered and specific.

Too often, believers pray without giving much thought to what God wants to do in a person’s life. Instead, we focus on our own ideas regarding what He should do. How much more effective our prayers would be if we prayed according to God’s will by using His Word as our source for requests.

The prayer from Colossians 1 focuses on the heavenly Father’s desires for His children. When we go before the Lord and substitute our own name or the name of a friend or family member for “you” in verses 9 and 10, we are praying His specific will for that person. The Lord delights in responding to requests that someone be filled with knowledge of His will and walk in a manner pleasing to Him.

However, we must be careful not to think of this prayer as a magic charm. It doesn’t work that way. These godly qualities take time to develop in a life. And if we are praying these things for ourselves, we must avail ourselves of the means God has provided for our sanctification or transformation—namely, His Word. If we want to know and understand God’s will, we should ask Him and search the Bible.

Bible in One Year: 2 Samuel 1-3


Our Daily Bread — Watch Out!


Bible in a Year:Ruth 1–4; Luke 8:1–25

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

1 Peter 5:8

Today’s Scripture & Insight:1 Peter 5:6–11

I grew up in warm southern cities, so when I moved north, it took me a while to learn how to drive safely during the long, snowy months. During my first hard winter, I ended up stranded in a snowdrift three times! But after several years of practice, I began to feel comfortable driving in wintry conditions. In fact, I felt a little too comfortable. I stopped being as vigilant. And that’s when I hit a patch of black ice and skidded into a telephone pole on the side of the road!

Thankfully, no one was hurt, but I learned something important that day. I realized how dangerous it can be to feel comfortable. Instead of being watchful, I had gone on “autopilot.”

We need to practice that same kind of vigilance in our spiritual lives. Peter warns believers not to glide thoughtlessly through life, but to “be alert” (1 Peter 5:8). The devil is actively trying to destroy us, and so we too need to be active, resisting temptation and standing firm in our faith (v. 9). That’s not something we have to do on our own though. God promises to be with us in our sufferings and, ultimately, to make us “strong, firm and steadfast” (v. 10). By His power, we learn to remain watchful and alert in resisting evil and following Him.

By Amy Peterson

Today’s Reflection

Where do you need to be more alert? In what ways will you stay vigilant in following Jesus?

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Of Lasting Value

Jesus once said that the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, Jesus added, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

In the first scene, the picture is of a poor farmer who was in for a surprise. He was going about his regular duties, ploughing his field, when he stumbles on this treasure. In his unspeakable joy, he parts with everything that he has to buy that field because of the value of that treasure. In the second scenario, we have a sophisticated seeker. This merchant was looking for fine pearls. And when he found what he was looking for, he sold all he had and bought that priceless pearl.

The two stories remind me of incidents I have encountered. During a conversation with a skeptic, he shared that he once had an out-of-body experience and during those milliseconds, he heard the name Jesus (a name he had never heard before) calling him. In another encounter, a gentleman from another faith came over to discuss apologetics. He was a research scholar on humanities and had read some works of Friedrich Nietzsche and Fyodor Dostoyevsky. He was acquainted with the Bible as well. Although he was not a Christian, he said, “Society needs to be educated on the apologetic of Christ.” He eventually came all the way as he gave his life to Christ and is a joyful believer today.

God in his sovereign grace caters to each one of us. One discovers his treasure at the end of a studied search, while the other stumbles onto the joy of serendipitous discovery. Professor Alister McGrath explains: “In one sense, faith can be thought of as saying ‘Yes!’ to God and throwing open the portals of our souls to the refreshing, renewing and transforming presence of the living God.”(1)

When the rich young ruler came to Jesus inquiring about eternal life, Jesus asked him to give up everything he had and follow him. But the man walked away. The very next chapter is about another rich man, who like the characters in parables above, was willing to give away his hard-earned money—legitimately and otherwise—for something of far greater value. He announced, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”(2)

In the insightful words of C.S. Lewis, “When the author walks on to the stage the play is over… something so overwhelming that it will strike either irresistible love or irresistible horror into every creature. It will be too late then to choose your side. There is no use saying you choose to lie down when it has become impossible to stand up. That will not be the time for choosing; it will be the time when we discover which side we really have chosen, whether we realised it before or not. Now, today, this moment, is our chance to choose the right side. God is holding back to give us that chance. It will not last for ever. We must take it or leave it.”(3)


The judgments we make today are lasting. We reveal who we are by what we treasure. Let us treasure that of lasting value.

Neil Vimalkumar Boniface is a member of the speaking and writing team at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Chennai, India.

(1) Alister McGrath, Glimpsing the Face of God: The Search for Meaning in the Universe. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm B Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2002.

(2) Luke 19:8.

(3) C. S. Lewis Mere Christianity pp. 64-5.

Joyce Meyer –  “I Want a Mind Change”


And you [He made alive when you] were [spiritually] dead and separated from Him because of your transgressions and sins. — Ephesians 2:1 (AMP)

Adapted from the resource Battlefield of the Mind Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

I find a great deal of comfort in thinking about who I used to be and who I have become. It helps me not to be discouraged when I make mistakes or find that I still struggle over some issues. I’m greatly encouraged when I consider where I started and where I am now.

In Ephesians 2, Paul described those outside of Christ. He wrote that unbelievers follow the prince of the power of the air, who is Satan, and they follow the way their master leads. In verse 1, he pointed out that all were once dead through their sins, but believers are now alive in Jesus Christ. He tells us we’re not governed or led by our lower nature—the impulses of the flesh.

Many Christians have trouble in this area because they haven’t learned to control their thoughts. A lady once told me, “It simply didn’t occur to me that I needed to direct my mind and keep it healthy and positive. If ministers preached or taught about the control of our thoughts, I never heard it. One day, however, I read an article about the power of thoughts, and God convicted me. That’s when I knew I needed to change my thinking.”

This lady said she drove down the street of a busy city and she spotted a sign, a cartoon of a car with big eyes for the front lights and tears flowing, and the words, “Please help me! I need an oil change.”

As she passed by, she thought, I need a mind change. I don’t like being the way I am, letting my mind go wherever it wants. Part of my responsibility as a child of God is to keep my thoughts healthy and strong.

“I want to make it clear that I went to church,” she said, “and I had been active for years. I knew a lot of Scripture, and I even did some volunteer work at the church. But I didn’t control my thoughts. Even when I sang in church, my mind jumped from subject to subject. We’d be singing about joy and grace, and I’d think about the dishes still in the sink, the unfinished laundry, or what I wanted to eat for lunch.

“I attended church and I was faithful, but I was not faithful in attending to the Word. I listened when the preachers quoted Scripture. I usually followed along with my own Bible, but I didn’t really think about what I was hearing or what my eyes were reading. I was doing the right things outwardly, but I wasn’t thinking the right things. My mind was a mess, and I didn’t know what to do about it.”

“I need a mind change,” she suddenly said aloud to herself. Just then, she actually pondered the words she had spoken. She was like the car on the sign—she needed a change—a mind change. She needed to let the Holy Spirit direct her thoughts, instead of the devil. As she prayed, she felt confident there would be a positive change.

She thought to herself, Is there anything I am supposed to do? She realized that if she didn’t make lifestyle changes, the devil would soon make the new thinking as muddy and gunky as the old thinking was.

For the next several days, she looked up all the scriptures she could find that used the word “study” or “meditate”. She also looked up scriptures that talked about the mind or thoughts. She read those verses, wrote them on slips of paper, and pondered them.

Here are three of them:

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he… (Proverbs 23:7 NKJV).

And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude] (Ephesians 4:23 AMPC).

My hands also will I lift up [in fervent supplication] to Your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on Your statutes (Psalm 119:48 AMPC).

The more she meditated on the right things, the less trouble she had with Satan trying to control her thoughts. That’s how it works with all of us: The more we focus on God, the less often the devil can defeat us.

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for the power in Your Word to renew my mind. Please help me to stay focused on You and choose positive, faith-filled thoughts that will propel my life in the right direction. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Your Joy Restored


“Create in me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence: and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation: and uphold me with Thy free Spirit. Then will I teach transgressors Thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto Thee” (Psalm 51:10-13, KJV).

“The Christian owes it to the world to be supernaturally joyful,” said A. W. Tozer.

How do we attain that joy?

When we refuse to exhale spiritually by confessing our sins, we are miserable. On the other hand, when we do confess our sins, we experience God’s complete forgiveness. He removes our guilt and fills our lives with joy, the kind of joy we will very much want to share with others.

The psalmist also knew this when he wrote: “Create in me a new, clean heart, O God, filled with clean thoughts and right desires…Restore to me again the joy of Your salvation, and make me willing to obey You. Then I will teach Your ways to other sinners, and they – guilty like me – will repent and return to You” (Psalm 51:10,12,13).

There was a time when I allowed moods and circumstances to prevent the joyful launching of a new day with the Lord. As a result, I did not feel that close relationship with Him, that beautiful awareness of His presence that comes from fellowship with Him in His Word and in prayer, and through faithful witnessing of His reality to others.

Without that time with Him, there is no joy and the day often begins and continues in the energy of the flesh. There is no personal awareness of God’s presence, and things just seem to go wrong. We can begin every day with that joyful communion with Christ that gives us the assurance of His presence throughout the day. We are the ones who make that choice. God is available; we are the variable.

Bible Reading: Psalm 51:1-9

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I will begin this day on my knees, praising and rejoicing in the Lord as an expression of my desire to be with Him. I will read His Word and offer prayers of adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication. I will ask Him to lead me to others whose hearts He has prepared for this same joyful relationship with God.

Max Lucado – Jesus is Living Proof of God’s Love


Listen to Today’s Devotion

Romans 8:32 says, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”

That passage is so poignant.  God did not spare his own son but gave him up.  God’s heart must have ached as the cracking voice of his son prayed, “Father, take this cup away.”  God said good-bye to his son fully aware that when Jesus’ cry of despair would roar through the heavens, he would sit in silence.

He gave himself up for us all.  Jesus, though in anguish, would feel no comfort from his father’s hands.  Would you receive this reminder?  God did not spare his son. He gave him up for you.

Read more Six Hours One Friday

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

Denison Forum – Why ‘Avengers: Endgame’ broke the internet

Avengers: Endgame won’t be released until April 26, but it broke the internet yesterday.

Six hours after tickets went on sale, the film had already surpassed the number of ticket sales in the first twenty-four hours for the previous record holder, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Both AMC and Fandango experienced crashes that kept fans from buying tickets. “I have never seen anything like this,” tweeted Fandango’s managing editor.

Why is the latest Avengers film already such a phenomenon?

One answer is that the movie is billed as “Marvel Studios’ grand conclusion to twenty-two films” in the franchise. Fans who have watched the others are obviously compelled to watch the series end.

But the larger story here is that we are a culture in dire need of heroes.

Movie critic Erin Free wrote in 2016, “Whether it’s random terrorist attacks, over-population, rising crime rates, the threat of financial collapse, the mental hangover of the Global Financial Crisis, prejudice, ignorance, infectious killer viruses, or just traffic congestion, our world is on a constant knife edge. And in troubled times, people enjoy escapism, and perhaps secretly wish that there were superheroes around to hose down all the horrors of the world.”

Since Free published his article, twelve more superhero movies have appeared in theaters.

Clearly, our need for heroes is not declining.

Creatures dependent on our Creator Continue reading Denison Forum – Why ‘Avengers: Endgame’ broke the internet