Charles Stanley –Seeking God’s Guidance

 

Psalm 16:1-11

A correct perspective of God is vital because it determines how we interact with Him. For instance, if we think He is concerned only about the big events in world history, we won’t bother to pray about our daily concerns. However, if our view of Him is grounded in the Scriptures, we’ll readily seek His guidance, knowing that He cares about every aspect of our life.

Despite this assurance, there may be times when we are so determined to get what we want that we don’t even ask for God’s direction. Instead, we plunge ahead, thinking that He will simply stop us if our decision is not according to His will. But the Lord won’t necessarily prevent us from doing that which is not His will, nor will He always come to our rescue if we have acted presumptuously without seeking His help.

A better approach is to do as David did. He said, “I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken” (Psalm 16:8). The omniscient heavenly Father has provided everything we need to live wisely through His Word and His Spirit. And as those who know and love Him, we should desire to please God by seeking His direction in every area of life.

The Lord is certainly willing to guide us through the treacherous seas of decision-making. But we must pay attention to the instructions in His Word and to the promptings of His Spirit, who is our helper, teacher, and guide. Then we can say with David, “I will bless the Lord who has counseled me” (Psalm 16:7).

Bible in One Year: 1 Chronicles 19-21

 

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Our Daily Bread — Someone Who Leads

 

Bible in a Year:2 Kings 1–3; Luke 24:1–35

As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.

2 Kings 2:6

Today’s Scripture & Insight:2 Kings 2:1-6

Who do you think of when you hear the word mentor? For me, it’s Pastor Rich. He saw my potential and believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. He modeled how to lead by serving in humility and love. As a result, I am now serving God by mentoring others.

The prophet Elijah played a critical role in Elisha’s growth as a leader. Elijah found him plowing a field and invited him to be his protégé after God told him to anoint Elisha as his successor (1 Kings 19:16, 19). The young mentee watched his mentor perform incredible miracles and obey God no matter what. God used Elijah to prepare Elisha for a lifetime of ministry. Toward the end of Elijah’s life, Elisha had the opportunity to leave. Instead, he chose to renew his commitment to his mentor. Three times Elijah offered to release Elisha from his duties, yet each time he refused, saying, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you” (2 Kings 2:2, 4, 6). As a result of Elisha’s faithfulness, he too was used by God in extraordinary ways.

We all need someone who models what it means to follow Jesus. May God give us godly men and women who help us grow spiritually. And may we too, by the power of His Spirit, invest our lives in others.

By Estera Pirosca Escobar

Reflect & Pray

Who are mentors that are currently building into you or who have built into your life? Why is it vital for us to mentor others in Jesus?

Father God, thank You for placing people in our lives to challenge and encourage us. Help us to do the same for others.

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Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Everyday Easter

There is a great amount of anticipation leading up to Easter Sunday. Even for those who are “Christmas and Easter” church-goers, or for those who simply sit at home and dream of Easter baskets, chocolate rabbits, and colored eggs, anticipating Easter, on the one hand, is like waiting for the door to finally be unlocked, unhinged and opened onto a verdant spring meadow. On the other hand, Easter is stepping out onto that meadow and closing the door behind on the long, cold, dreary winter.

Yet, for many, the day comes and goes and then what? Easter is over again until next year. In some parts of the world, winter still hovers above and the grey of death has not given way to the springtime. The candy is eaten, the brunches are over, and everything seems to return to normal. All that anticipation ends in just one day—with grand celebrations and powerful sermons, and perhaps with even a first playful roll in the springtime grass—and then it’s over. Or is it?

The celebration of Easter is insignificant if the celebrations do not point to the continuing reality of the Risen Lord. Indeed, in many church traditions, the season of Eastertide which lasts until Pentecost asks this very question of those who lead congregations into continual contemplation of the resurrection until the day of Pentecost: how do we perceive the continuing presence of the risen Lord in our reality? Indeed, how do we? Is it simply the annual remembrance of a historic event from long ago?

If we’re honest, many of us do wonder what difference the resurrection has made in the practical realities of our lives. We still argue with our spouses and loved ones; we still have children who go their own way. We have difficulties at work or at school. We still see a world so broken by warfare, selfish greed, oppression and sin. Like the two men on the road to Emmaus recounting the events surrounding Jesus, perhaps we wonder aloud: “But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21a). Things seem pretty much as they were before Easter Sunday, and the reality of our same old lives still clamor for redemption.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Everyday Easter

Joyce Meyer – Give Yourself a Gift

 

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

— Ephesians 4:32

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

Unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, or offense of any kind can render us unable to hear from God. The Word of God is very clear on this subject. If we want God to forgive our sins and offenses against Him, we must forgive others their sins and offenses against us.

Ephesians 4:30–32, the passage that contains our verse for today, teaches that we grieve the Holy Spirit when we harbor negative emotions such as anger, resentment, and animosity in our hearts. When we hold unforgiveness against anyone for any reason, it hardens our hearts and prevents us from being sensitive to God’s leading in our lives.

I once heard someone say that holding unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping your enemy will die. Why spend your life being angry and bitter toward someone who is probably enjoying his or her life and does not even care that you are upset?

Do yourself a favor—forgive those who hurt you! Give yourself the gift of forgiveness. It will bring peace to your heart and enable you to hear God’s voice and follow His leading in your life.

Prayer Starter: Father, please forgive me for holding bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness in my heart toward others. Help me to truly forgive those who have hurt me or wronged me in any way. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

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Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Instruct, Teach, Guide

 

“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye” (Psalm 32:8, KJV).

As an Eastern monarch, David was familiar with the thought behind this interesting expression: “guide thee with Mine eye.”

As he sat in state, David was surrounded by a number of servants who were eager to do his bidding. They constantly fixed their eyes on him, and when David wanted any service done, he rarely needed to speak. Each servant knew his post, and his eyes were dutifully fixed on his master. At a nod or a sign – a turn of the eye – he flew to complete the desired service.

How refreshing to know that our God keeps an eye on each one of us as His children. He knows the way we are going; He knows the way we should take – and with His watchful eye He promises to instruct us and to teach us.

When we become careless and stubborn, and thus are not observing the slightest indications of God’s will for us, we require the bit and bridle instead of the guiding eye. Great attentiveness and great desire are presupposed on the part of those who are led.

On some subjects, full directions and plain commands are not always given in the Word of God. In such cases, we must be especially sensitive to the guiding eye.

Similarly, we apply the truth of this passage to the truth of a particular providence. God’s guiding us with His eye often indicates to us His will by means of providential events. When we live and walk in the Spirit, by faith, we recognize His guiding eye.

Bible Reading: Proverbs 3:1-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will try to be more sensitive to God’s guiding eye, realizing that I will find proper direction in no other way.

 

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Max Lucado – Everything is Possible With God

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

A rich young ruler once asked Jesus, “What must I do to get eternal life?”  He thought he could find eternal life by his own strength.  But Jesus said, “What is impossible with men is possible with God” (Luke 18:27).  It wasn’t money that hindered the rich young man; it was self-sufficiency.  You don’t need a system; you need a Savior.  You don’t need a resumé; you need a Redeemer.  You cannot save yourself.

It’s not just the rich who have difficulty with this teaching.  So do the educated, the strong, the good-looking, the popular, the religious. Those who desire God’s presence don’t brag; they beg.  Admission of failure is not usually admission into joy.  Complete confession is not commonly followed by total pardon.  But then again, God has never been governed by what is common.

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Denison Forum – The new royal baby and Nelson Mandela: Answering ‘the call to be selfless’

 

Great Britain has a new royal baby, and the world has a new celebrity.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, went into labor yesterday, delivering her first child, a boy. He is now seventh in line for the throne. The couple had previously announced that their new child would not make his or her public appearance on its first day, a departure from royal tradition.

But their son will not need to inherit the throne to change the world.

Prince Harry served in the British Army for ten years and now works to support those wounded in service. He also helps build programs to improve sports coaching and mentoring, supports children living with HIV/AIDS, and works for African conservation.

Prior to marrying Prince Harry, Meghan Markle was the United Nations Women’s Advocate and a Global Ambassador for World Vision. She now serves as a patron for charities supporting vulnerable women, education, the arts, and animal welfare.

Their son is already changing the royal family. In years to come, we will watch to see how he changes the world.

Two who died so others could live

On a somber note, Riley Howell was buried last Sunday. When a gunman opened fire in Riley’s classroom at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte last week, Riley charged the shooter, saving the lives of others. A ROTC member, his memorial service was conducted with military honors.

The same day, a Russian passenger jet caught fire after an emergency landing at one of Moscow’s main airports. At least forty-one people were killed.

According to TASS, the Russian News Agency, one of the deceased was a flight attendant who died trying to save passengers. Maksim Moiseev was in the rear of the aircraft when it caught fire. After trying unsuccessfully to open an exit door, he started helping people leave the plane.

He stayed on board until everyone had evacuated, then died in the fire.

Why older people can change the world

Friday marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s inauguration as president of South Africa. He was seventy-seven years old at the time. As his nation holds elections tomorrow, Mr. Mandela’s story reminds us that it is never too late to leave a legacy.

The Wall Street Journal is carrying an essay that makes this point brilliantly. Rich Karlgaard, a noted journalist, bestselling author, and former editor of Forbes, argues that “early blooming is not a requirement for lifelong accomplishment and fulfillment.”

Karlgaard reports that “fluid” intelligence—our capacity for reasoning apart from past knowledge—peaks earlier in life. However, “crystallized” intelligence—the ability to use skills, knowledge, and experience—rises in performance well into middle age and beyond.

For instance, the field of software coding favors the young and “fluid,” while managing projects and the business requires “crystallized” skills typical of older people.

Karlgaard cites J. K. Rowling, a divorced mother on public assistance who created Harry Potter at the age of thirty-five. He also points to Toni Morrison, who published her first novel at the age of thirty-nine and won a Pulitzer Prize at fifty-six and the Nobel Prize in Literature five years later.

Following cloud and fire

The new royal baby, Riley Howell, Maksim Moiseev, and Nelson Mandela each remind us that one life can change the world.

How can you and I make a difference that matters?

Numbers 9 continues the narrative of Israel’s journey through the wilderness of Sinai. I have traveled numerous times through this vast landscape filled with mountains and deserts. It is a parched, lonely area, nothing like the “land flowing with milk and honey” God promised his people (Exodus 3:17). But it was part of their journey to their destination.

Since they had never been here before, the Lord guided them with a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. When he led, they went. When he stayed, they stayed.

Across forty years in the wilderness, even when his people abandoned him (cf. Numbers 14), he never abandoned them. And day by day, mile by mile, he led them into their world-changing future.

“Answer the call to be selfless”

You may never achieve celebrity like the royal baby has already received. You may never be called upon to stop a shooter, save lives in a burning plane, or run for president of your country.

But know this: you are on this planet for a reason.

God did not make you because the world needs another human to add to the 7.7 billion already here. He made you because he has a purpose for you that no one else can fulfill.

Stay faithful to the last word you heard from God and open to the next. If you will ask your Father to use you today, he will use you today. And whether you see the results or not, eternity will never be the same.

In their obituary for Riley Howard, his family included this statement: “Riley died the way he lived, putting others first. Our hope is that his example resonates with everyone. We hope others will, if ever the need arises, answer the call to be selfless and do the right thing without hesitation.”

Will you?

 

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