Charles Stanley – How to Avoid God’s Discipline

 

1 Corinthians 11:27-32

“For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want.” Can you relate to Paul’s statement from Romans 7:19? Although sin’s power has been broken in the Christian’s life, it can still exert influence. That’s why the apostle tells us not to let sin reign in our bodies—otherwise, it could lead us away from the Lord and hinder His transformative work (Rom. 6:12-13).

Divine discipline is one of the means God employs to halt the progress of sinful behavior in His children. But it doesn’t always have to come to that. Paul suggested that the Corinthians examine their hearts prior to participating in the Lord’s Supper. Then they could correct themselves before coming under the Father’s discipline.

We can adopt the same practice of self-examination in our daily life by asking God where we might be harboring wrong attitudes or hidden sin. Then as we pray and read the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit will help us see where we have gone astray. If we truly desire to mature in our faith, we will honestly confront the problem areas He reveals. This is done by confessing our sins and turning from them in repentance. But if we delay in this process, we are inviting His discipline.

Sin is not something that we can sweep under the rug and ignore. Unless we put it to death, it will grow and poison our life. The heavenly Father knows this, and because He loves us, He may forcefully intervene with divine discipline so we can be forgiven and restored to fellowship with Him for eternity (Heb. 12:6).

Bible in One Year: 1 Chronicles 16-18

 

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Our Daily Bread — Come and Get It!

 

Bible in a Year:1 Kings 21–22; Luke 23:26–56

Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live.

Isaiah 55:3

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Isaiah 55:1-6

I peeked over the grape-stake fence that encloses our backyard. There I saw folks running, jogging, walking, and shuffling around the track that surrounds the park behind our home. I used to do that when I was stronger, I thought. And a wave of dissatisfaction washed over me.

Later, while reading the Scriptures, I came across Isaiah 55:1, “Come, all you who are thirsty,” and I realized again that dissatisfaction (thirst) is the rule, not the exception in this life. Nothing, not even the good things of life, can fully satisfy. If I had strong legs like a Sherpa (mountain-climbing guide), there would still be something else in my life that I’d be unhappy about.

Our culture is always telling us in one way or another that something we do, buy, wear, spray on, roll on, or ride in will give us endless pleasure. But that’s a lie. We can’t get complete satisfaction from anything in the here and now, no matter what we do.

Rather, Isaiah invites us to come again and again to God and the Scriptures to hear what He has to say. And what does He say? His love for David of old is “everlasting” and “faithful” (v. 3). And that goes for you and me as well! We can “come” to Him.

By David H. Roper

Reflect & Pray

In what ways are you thirsty? How can knowing God is faithful help you today?

Whom have we, Lord, but Thee, soul thirst to satisfy? Exhaustless spring! The waters free! All other streams are dry. Mary Bowley

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Joyce Meyer – Think Positively

 

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. — Philippians 4:8

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

I once interviewed a minister and his wife on our ministry’s television program. I asked the man what his weaknesses were. His answer: “You know, I don’t concentrate on them. I am sure I have some, but I couldn’t tell you right now what they are because I just don’t focus on them.”

I laughingly replied that I would ask his wife later. I was sure she would know his weaknesses, even if he didn’t. When she joined us later in the broadcast, I promptly popped that question to her. She replied, “To me, my husband is perfect; I don’t focus on his weaknesses. He has so many strengths that I just focus on them and help him be all he can be.”

It didn’t take me long to understand why these two were so happy and upbeat all the time—and why they had such a wonderful marriage. Confident people make it a habit to think and act positively. Therefore, they enjoy life, and they accomplish a lot.

Prayer Starter: Lord, it seems as though it’s a lot easier to see others’ negatives rather than their positives. Help me to see others through Your eyes, especially my loved ones and those with whom I am closest. I want to bless and support them as You do. Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Dr. Bill Bright 3 Minute Read

 

Christ Lives in Me

“I have been crucified with Christ: and I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the real life I now have within this body is a result of my trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20).

After many years of working with thousands of Christians, I am convinced that a person cannot enjoy the supernatural life – which is a believer’s heritage in Christ – apart from the proper balance between Bible study, prayer and sharing Christ with others out of the overflow of an obedient, Spirit-filled life.

We need to be able not only to experience this great adventure with Christ ourselves, but also to share this good news with others.

A word of caution and reminder is in order at this point. We become spiritual and experience power from God and become fruitful in our witness as a result of faithand faith alone.

The Bible clearly teaches that “the just shall live by faith” Romans 1:17. However, it is equally important to know that good works are the result of faith – “trusting in the Son of God” – and unless there are “good works” there is not faith, for “faith without works is dead” (James 2:17).

Many Christians are confused on this point. They think of works (Bible study, prayer and other spiritual disciplines) as the meansto, rather than the resultsof, the life of faith. They spend much time in these activities, seeking God’s favor and blessing.

They may even attempt to witness for Christ and to obey the various commands of God, thinking that by these means they will achieve supernatural living. But they remain defeated, frustrated, powerless and fruitless.

As you are filled with the Holy Spirit – “Christ living in me” – and walk in His power by faith, the Bible becomes alive, prayer becomes vital, your witness becomes effective and obedience becomes a joy.

Bible Reading: Galatians 2:15-19

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will seek to remember that Christ lives in me, in the person of His indwelling Holy Spirit, and thus I have all I need for supernatural living, for victory and joy and peace.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – The Sacred Summit

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Matthew 5:1 says, “When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on the mountainside and sat down.”

America is in a hurry!  Time has skyrocketed in value because of its scarcity.  He invites you and me, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened…” (Matthew 11:28).  He invites us to leave behind the budgets, the bills, the deadlines; and walk the narrow trail with him to the sacred summit.

You can tell the ones who have been there.  Their challenges are just as severe, but there is stubborn peace that enshrines them…a contagious delight sparkles in their eyes.  And in their hearts reigns a fortress-like confidence that the valley can be endured, even enjoyed, because the mountain is always only a decision away.

Read more Applause of Heaven

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

 

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Denison Forum – The Kentucky Derby and Rachel Held Evans: A faith that changes everything

Country House won the Kentucky Derby last Saturday. At sixty-five-to-one odds, he was the second-biggest long shot ever to win America’s most famous horserace. The way he won was even more unprecedented.

Maximum Security finished first but was later disqualified for veering out of his path on the final turn. Country House, after finishing in second place, was then declared the winner. This was the first time in Derby history that a foul voided an apparent winner.

Whether we know much about horse racing or not, Americans care about the Kentucky Derby. We are fascinated by the race itself, often billed as “the most exciting two minutes in sport,” but we are also captivated by the Derby’s heritage.

The race has been run every consecutive year since 1875. Churchill Downs, the location of the Derby, was organized by Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr., grandson of William Clark (of the Lewis and Clark Expedition). Mint julips, lavish hats and clothing, and the playing of “My Old Kentucky Home” are part of the annual tradition.

Mother’s Day and Memorial Day

Other traditions are making news as well.

Ramadan began last night. I have been in the Middle East many times during this sacred month on the Islamic calendar. It is fascinating to watch Muslims flock to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and to observe their passion for their faith.

By contrast, Jews in Israel observed Holocaust Remembrance Day last Thursday. (Click here for my thoughts on this somber tradition.) In two days, Israelis hold their Memorial Day, remembering the country’s fallen soldiers and police as well as victims of terrorist acts. The following day, the nation celebrates its independence.

Continue reading Denison Forum – The Kentucky Derby and Rachel Held Evans: A faith that changes everything