Charles Stanley – When We Feel Helpless


Psalm 119:145-160

We love movies that capture our attention with tales of people who are trapped, helpless, and frantically looking for a way of escape. However, this is not something we want in real life. Yet when it happens, we immediately start looking for the way out and beg God for rescue through physical healing, changed circumstances, or additional provision.

Have you ever considered that spiritual rescue is even more important than physical deliverance? Although Jesus has freed us from the penalty and power of sin, there are times when we feel helpless in the face of sinful habits, emotions, rash words, and ungodly thoughts. That’s when we need to follow the example of the psalmist and cry out to God for spiritual rescue.

Admit your helplessness to God. In yourself, you have no power to overcome sin. But God’s Spirit within you is almighty.

Confess any sins, fears, unbelief, or self-reliance. Surrender all further attempts to change by self-effort, and make no provision for sinful desires.

Turn your gaze toward God. Think about who He is, what He desires, and what He has promised.

Fill your mind and heart with God’s Word. Meditate on it. Ask Him for wisdom and strength to follow Him with reliance on and submission to His Spirit.

Trust God, and wait upon Him to change you from the inside out. Although salvation occurs in a moment, sanctification is a lifelong process.

A time will eventually come when the helpless feeling departs and is replaced by the joy of obedience. When that happens, give God the glory.

Bible in One Year: 2 Kings 7-9

Our Daily Bread — Serving the Smallest


Bible in a Year:2 Samuel 19–20; Luke 18:1–23

God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things.

1 Corinthians 1:28

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Luke 14:15–23

The video showed a man kneeling beside a busy freeway during an out-of-control brush fire. He was clapping his hands and pleading with something to come. What was it? A dog? Moments later a bunny hopped into the picture. The man scooped up the scared rabbit and sprinted to safety.

How did the rescue of such a small thing make national news? That’s why. There’s something endearing about compassion shown to the least of these. It takes a big heart to make room for the smallest creature.

Jesus said the kingdom of God is like a man who gave a banquet and made room for everyone who was willing to come. Not just the movers and shakers but also “the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame” (Luke 14:21). I’m thankful that God targets the weak and the seemingly insignificant, because otherwise I’d have no shot. Paul said, “God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things . . . so that no one may boast before him” (1 Corinthians 1:27–29).

How big must God’s heart be to save a small person like me! In response, how large has my heart grown to be? I can easily tell, not by how I please the “important people,” but by how I serve the ones society might deem the least important.

By Mike Wittmer

Today’s Reflection

What types of people do you have a hard time valuing? In what ways might God want you to change that?

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Easter Skeptics

As it happens every Easter season, various scholars and skeptics weigh in on whether or not Jesus was actually raised from the dead. One of Bart Ehrman’s latest book, How Jesus Became God, is a case in point. Writing as a historian, he questions many of the gospel remembrances of the events surrounding the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. His conclusion is that the gospels are not reliable, historical witnesses. But is this really the case?

A careful reading of the four evangelists’ remembrances of the resurrection does indeed reveal many different emphases and details. The Gospel of Matthew, for example, tells us that a great earthquake occurred as an angel of the Lord descended and came and rolled away the stone and sat upon it. The Gospel of Mark, on the other hand, tells us that a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe was inside the tomb to announce Jesus’s resurrection. The Gospel of Luke tells us that two men suddenly stood near the women in dazzling apparel and John’s Gospel reports the discovery of the linen wrappings abandoned in the empty tomb.(1)

There are many other differences in the retelling of the resurrection appearances of Jesus, and this should be expected from different testimony. No two people report exactly the same details about any event or happening! But there is one feature that is the same in all four gospel testimonies: the resurrection announcement is made first to the women who followed Jesus (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:1; Luke 23:55-24:5; John 20:1). Many reasons have been offered as to why women serve as the immediate witnesses to the resurrection: the women stayed with him through the crucifixion, so he appeared first to those who stuck with him to the last; women traditionally carried out the burial rituals in first century Judaism, so they were witnesses by default. Others suggest that the first women witnesses represent Jesus’s elevation of the status for women of the first century and for women in general.

While all of these are plausible, historical reasons, there is another strategic, indeed, apologetic reason why the women were the first witnesses. In the first century, the testimony of women was not counted as credible. In both Josephus, the first century Jewish historian, and the Talmud a woman’s testimony is considered unreliable at best. “But let not the testimony of women be admitted, on account of the levity and boldness of their sex…since it is probable that they may not speak truth, either out of hope of gain, or fear of punishment.”(2) The Talmud states that “any evidence which a woman [gives] is not valid (to offer)….This is equivalent to saying that one who is Rabbinically accounted a robber is qualified to give the same evidence as a woman.”(3) No man in the first century would give credence to a woman’s testimony.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Easter Skeptics

Joyce Meyer – God Will Brighten Your Day


He set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God, and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper. — 2 Chronicles 26:5

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

Jesus got up early in the morning, long before daylight, and went out to a deserted place and prayed—He got alone (see Mark 1:35). There were so many people who followed Jesus everywhere He went that He probably wouldn’t have had any time alone if He hadn’t gotten up really early.

If you aren’t a morning person, the thought of getting up early may make you nervous. But you can decipher for yourself what “early” means for you. Nine o’clock is early if you are used to staying in bed until noon. Even if you only get up 15 minutes earlier than usual to have some time alone with God, you will still honor Him, and that time with Him will make your whole day brighter.

Prayer Starter: Father, I need Your strength to have success today. Help me to make a habit of spending time with You and keeping You first in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Poor, Blind and Naked


“You say, ‘I am rich, with everything I want; I don’t need a thing!” And you don’t realize that spiritually you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked” (Revelation 3:17). 

George had come for a week of lay training at Arrowhead Springs. Following one of my messages on revival, in which I explained that most Christians are like the members of the church at Ephesus and Laodicea, as described in Revelation 2 and 3, he came to share with me how, though he was definitely lukewarm and had lost his first love, he frankly had never read those passages, had never heard a sermon such as I had presented and therefore did not realize how wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked he was.

If there were such an instrument as a “faith thermometer,” at what level would your faithfulness register? Hot? Lukewarm? Cold?

Jesus said to the church at Laodicea, “I know you well – you are neither hot nor cold; I wish you were one or the other! But since you are merely lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth!” (Revelation 3:15).

Again, I ask you, where does your faithfulness register on that faith thermometer?

The greatest tragedy in the history of nations is happening right here in America. Here we are, a nation founded by Christians, a nation founded upon godly principles, a nation blessed beyond all the nations of history for the purpose of doing God’s will in the world. But most people in this country, including the majority of church members, have without realizing it become materialistic and humanistic, all too often worshiping man and his achievements instead of the only true God.

Granted, the opinion polls show meteoric growth in the number of people in America who claim to be born-again Christians. But where does their faith register on the faith thermometer? America is a modern-day Laodicea. We are where we are today because too many Christians have quenched the Holy Spirit in their lives.

Bible Reading: Revelation 3:14-19

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  Realizing that America cannot become spiritually renewed without individual revival, I will humble myself, and pray, and seek God’s face, and turn from my wicked ways. By faith I will claim revival in my own heart.

Max Lucado – A Silenced Boast


Listen to Today’s Devotion

A Hanoverian countess was known for her disbelief in God and her conviction that no one could call life from a tomb.  Before her death, she ensured that her tomb would be a mockery to belief in the resurrection.  It was sealed with a slab of granite.  Blocks of stone were placed around her tomb.  Heavy iron clamps fastened the blocks together and to the granite slab.  The inscription read:

This burial place,

purchased to all eternity,

must never be opened.

However, a small birch tree had other plans.  Over the years it forced its way until the iron clamps popped loose, and the granite lid was raised.  Now the stone cover rests again the trunk of the birch.  Its boastful epitaph has been permanently silenced by the work of a determined tree…or a powerful God.

Read more Six Hours One Friday

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.


Denison Forum – How a million robo-taxis are changing the world: Connecting truth to life

My first car was a 1966 Dodge Dart. It was the most misnamed car in automotive history. It should have been named the Dodge Sloth.

However, it was my teenage ticket to freedom, and I was grateful. As soon as I could, I applied for my driver’s license. All my friends did the same.

That was then; this is now.

The surprising reasons teenagers are driving so much less

According to the Wall Street Journal, the percentage of teenagers with a driver’s license has tumbled over the last few decades. More young people are delaying the purchase of their first car, if they buy one at all.

In 1983, nearly half of sixteen-year-olds had a driver’s license; in 2017, only a quarter did.

What explains this phenomenon?

Teenagers can call for an Uber or Lyft to shuttle them around. Social media and video chat allow them to spend time with friends without actually leaving the house. Then, when they reach their twenties, many are moving to large cities with mass transit, where owning a car is neither essential nor practical.

In addition, American automakers are jettisoning many of their lower-priced compact and subcompact cars in favor of sport-utility vehicles and trucks with much bigger profit margins. And schools are either not offering drivers’ education or charging as much as a thousand dollars per course.

Yet another factor: Tesla is promising “over a million robo-taxis on the road” by next year. The company hopes to provide transportation at less than eighteen cents a mile (typical ride-sharing costs are two to three dollars a mile).

“A critical shift in American culture”

Before today, if you had asked me to explain why young people are putting off driving, I wouldn’t have thought of Instagram, SUVs, and robo-taxis.

Continue reading Denison Forum – How a million robo-taxis are changing the world: Connecting truth to life