Charles Stanley – God’s Ways Revealed

 

1 Corinthians 2:6-16

Just when we think we’re growing in our understanding of God, something happens that causes us to wonder if we know Him very well at all. Perhaps it was an unanswered prayer request, an accident, an illness, or some loss that shook our faith. What are we to think when the events in our life seem to contradict our understanding of God?

This basic truth may sound paradoxical, but we’re wise to keep it in the forefront of our thinking: We have a God who is far beyond human comprehension, yet He wants us to know Him and understand His ways. Even the apostle Paul—who had an intimate relationship with God—exclaimed, “How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord?” (Rom. 11:33-34).

So how can we know our unfathomable God? The only way is if He reveals Himself to us—and that’s exactly what He has done. Every believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit “so that we may know the things freely given to us by God” (1 Corinthians 2:12). That’s why the apostle Paul said, “We have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). Although we’ll never know or understand all that God does, we can be confident that as we read the Scriptures and walk in obedience to the Holy Spirit, He will teach us God’s ways.

We have a priceless treasure within us. The Spirit is the only reason we can understand spiritual concepts that are hidden from those who don’t know Jesus. But with this privilege comes the responsibility to let God’s Word dwell richly within us, because that’s how the Spirit teaches us the Father’s ways.

Bible in One Year: 1 Chronicles 28-29

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Minister of Loneliness

 

Bible in a Year:2 Kings 10–12; John 1:29–51

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters.

Hebrews 13:1

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Hebrews 13:1-8

Following her husband’s death, Betsy has spent most days in her flat, watching television and boiling tea for one. She’s not alone in her loneliness. More than nine million Brits (15 percent of the population) say they often or always feel lonely, and Great Britain has appointed a minister of loneliness to find out why and how to help.

Some causes of loneliness are well known: We move too often to put down roots. We believe we can take care of ourselves, and we don’t have a reason to reach out. We’re separated by technology—each of us immersed in our own flickering screens.

I feel the dark edge of loneliness, and you may too. This is one reason we need fellow believers. Hebrews concludes its deep discussion of Jesus’s sacrifice by encouraging us to meet together continually (10:25). We belong to the family of God, so we’re to love “one another as brothers and sisters” and “show hospitality to strangers” (13:1–2). If we each made an effort, everyone would feel cared for.

Lonely people may not return our kindness, but this is no reason to give up. Jesus has promised to never leave nor forsake us (13:5), and we can use His friendship to fuel our love for others. Are you lonely? What ways can you find to serve the family of God? The friends you make in Jesus last forever, through this life and beyond.

By Mike Wittmer

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – House and Ladders

I am not sure what it is that makes us readily picture God as seated high above us. But from childhood, we seem to nurture pictures of heaven and all its wonderment as that which spatially exists “above,” while we and all of our joys and worries exist on earth “below.” While this may simply illustrate our need for metaphors as we learn to relate to the world around us, there is also biblical imagery that seems to authenticate the portrayal. Depicting the God who exists beyond all we know, the Scripture writers describe the divine throne as “high and lofty,” the name of the LORD as existing above all names. Yet even metaphors can be misleading when they cease to point beyond themselves. Though the Bible uses the language and imagery of loftiness, it also pronounces that God’s existence is far more than something “above” us. The startling image of the Incarnation, for instance, radically erases the likeness of a distant God. The message that comes again and again from the mouth of God on earth is equally startling: The kingdom of God is among us!

Of the many objections to Christianity, there is one in particular that stands out in my mind as troubling. That is, the argument that to be Christian is to withdraw from the world, to follow fairy tales with wishful hearts and myths that insist you stop thinking and believe that all will be right in the end because God says so. It was in such a vein that Karl Marx depicted Christianity as a kind of drug that anesthetizes its consumers to the suffering in the world and the wretchedness of life. Sigmund Freud argued similarly that belief in God functions as an infantile dream that helps us evade the pain and helplessness we both feel and see around us. I don’t find these critiques and others like them troubling because I find them an accurate picture of the kingdom Jesus described. Rather, I find them troubling because so many Christians, myself included, find it easy to live as if Freud and Marx are quite right in their analyses.

In impervious boxes and minimalist depictions of the Christian story, we can live comfortably as if in our own worlds, intent to tell our feel-good stories while withdrawing from the harder scenes of life, content to view the kingdom of God as a world far away from the present, and the rooms of heaven as mere futuristic promises. The kingdom is seen as the place we are journeying toward, the better country the writer of Hebrews describes. In contrast, our place on earth is viewed as temporary, and therefore somehow less vital; like Abraham, we are merely passing through. And as a result, we build chasms that stand between kingdom and earth, today and tomorrow, the physical and the spiritual, the believing world and its world of neighbors. Whether articulated or subconscious, the earth itself even becomes something fleeting and irrelevant—one more commodity here for our use, like shampoo bottles in hotel bathrooms—while Christ is away preparing our permanent, more luxurious rooms.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – House and Ladders

Joyce Meyer – Make Healthy Choices

 

And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food…. — Genesis 2:9

Adapted from the resource New Day New You Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

Learn to do everything you do for God’s glory, including eating. Look at your dinner plate and ask if what you are about to eat is mostly what God created for you.

Don’t view eating as a secular event that has nothing to do with your relationship with God. Don’t forget that God put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and told them what they could eat. If eating had nothing to do with their walk with Him, He probably would not have mentioned food.

Make good choices! Each time you choose good healthy foods, you are choosing life, which is God’s gift to you. He wants you to look great and feel great, and you can, if you keep in mind that your body is the temple of God and the fuel you put into it determines how it will operate and for how long.

Prayer Starter: Lord, Your Word says that my body is the temple of Your Holy Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 6:19). Help me to properly care for my body and choose to eat foods that will promote good health so I can serve You to the best of my ability. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – We Shall Never Lack

 

“Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those of us who reverence the Lord will never lack any good thing” (Psalm 34:10)

“When you have nothing left but God,” a Christian leader once observed, “then for the first time you become aware that God is enough.”

With every command of God is a specific or implied promise to enable us to do what He commands us to do. He always makes it possible for us to fulfill the conditions to obey His commands.

Rarely, will some of us see a check for a million – or even thousands – of dollars. But here is a check for millions of millions, waiting to be cashed by those of us who know and love the Lord, who love Him enough to obey His commands.

Here is a promise of God which is great enough to meet our needs, our wants, even our deepest desires and distresses.

As you and I go through our day, how reassuring it is to know that our reverence for the Lord will be rewarded by provision of every good thing we need. That means the strength, the peace, the courage, the love I need to get me through the decisions, the trials, the testings.

That also means a new consciousness of God’s indwelling Holy Spirit, the one through whom I find the supernatural, abundant life. That means a tender conscience toward God, so that I make a supreme effort to avoid yielding to temptation in any way, lest I grieve my wonderful Lord.

Bible Reading: Psalm 34:1-9

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I shall not be afraid to go to the bank of heaven today and cash a check for all my needs, enabling me to share the supernatural life with all whom my life touches.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Touches of Tenderness

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

My child’s feelings are hurt.  I tell her she’s special.  My child is injured.  I do whatever it takes to make her feel better.  My child is scared.  I won’t go to sleep until she is secure.

Moments of comfort from a parent come naturally, willingly and joyfully.  So why am I so reluctant to let my heavenly Father do the same for me?  Why do I think he wouldn’t want to hear about my problems?  Why do I think he’s too busy for me?

When I am criticized, injured, or afraid, there is a Father who is ready to comfort me.  The same goes for you, my friend.  There is a Father who will hold us until we are better, help us until we can live with the hurt, and who won’t go to sleep when we’re afraid of the dark.  Ever!  And that’s enough.

Read more Applause of Heaven

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

Home

Denison Forum – California approves controversial sex-ed guidelines: The importance of mothers today

Sex education guidelines now approved by California for public school teachers are being praised by LGBT advocates. However, some parents and conservative groups are opposing the document as an assault on parental rights, claiming it exposes children to ideas about gender and sexuality that should be taught at home.

As controversial as the new guidelines are, they could have been worse.

After several organizations opposed what they called “sexually explicit” and “offensive, reckless and immoral books” originally included in the guidelines, the state removed five books from its framework. One depicting male and female anatomy had been recommended for kindergarten through third-grade students. An earlier draft also included descriptions of aberrant sexual behavior I won’t detail here.

The “Golden Spike” and “Mother’s Friendship Day”

In better news, today marks the sesquicentennial celebration of the “Golden Spike”—the ceremonial final spike connecting the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads at Promontory Summit in the Utah Territory. On May 10, 1869, the 17.6-karat gold spike was used to complete the transcontinental railway and then removed and replaced with an iron spike. The Golden Spike is now on display at Stanford University.

One side of the spike was engraved with this inscription: “May God continue the Unity of our Country, as this Railroad unites the two great Oceans of the world.”

It seems appropriate that today’s Golden Spike anniversary is followed in two days by Mother’s Day.

The year before our nation’s railroads were connected, Ann Reeves Jarvis organized “Mother’s Friendship Day,” where mothers gathered with former Union and Confederate soldiers to promote harmony and reconciliation. Her daughter, Anna Jarvis, was instrumental later in making Mother’s Day a national holiday. (For more on Anna’s surprising story, please read my wife’s blog, “Wishing You An Un-Hallmark Mother’s Day”).

Ann Reeves Jarvis believed that mothers could do for their nation’s soul what the Golden Spike did for the nation’s railroads. She was right: a recent Barna study shows just how critical mothers are to their children’s spiritual lives.

Christian teenagers say they “talk about God and faith” and “pray together” with their mothers far more than with their fathers, family members, or friends. They are also more likely to talk to their mothers about faith questions, the Bible, and personal problems.

Continue reading Denison Forum – California approves controversial sex-ed guidelines: The importance of mothers today