Charles Stanley – Building on Christ

 

1 Corinthians 3:9-15

Have you ever seen an elaborate, masterfully crafted sandcastle? That’s one of the most delightful experiences of a trip to the beach. The best builders are painstaking in every detail as they craft these beautiful works of art. The towers are straight, the windows are even, and sometimes the outline of individual bricks can be seen on each wall. The end result is often stunning, rivaling the elegance of homes in the wealthiest neighborhoods of the world.

But for all a sandcastle’s splendor, its hours are numbered. From the moment the first grain of sand is set in place, the miniature building is on its way to oblivion. Within hours the details are destroyed by wind, rain, and the incoming tide. There is simply no future for a house of sand.

Sometimes believers’ lives are like sandcastles. Even though everything looks perfect on the outside, their life’s pursuits and activities will be revealed as worthless in the fire of God’s judgment. Although their eternal destiny is secure, they will suffer the loss of heavenly rewards because they used inferior building materials.

The most important thing in life is to make sure we have the right foundation. Church attendance, ministry work, discipleship programs, or community service are no substitute for the rock-solid foundation of faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We also need to build our life with faithful, obedient service to the Lord. The goal is not to have the most impressive-looking life in this world but to build one that demonstrates our devotion to the Savior who died to rescue us.

Bible in One Year: 2 Chronicles 21-23

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — God’s Amazing Hands

 

Bible in a Year:1 Chronicles 1–3; John 5:25–47

Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.

Psalm 31:5

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Psalm 31:1-8

Twenty minutes into a flight from New York to San Antonio, the flight plan changed as calm gave way to chaos. When one of the plane’s engines failed, debris from the engine smashed through a window causing the cabin to decompress. Sadly, several passengers were injured and one person was killed. Had not a calm, capable pilot been in the cockpit—one trained as a Navy fighter pilot—things could have been tragically worse. The headline in our local paper read, “In Amazing Hands.”

In Psalm 31, David revealed that he knew something about the Lord’s amazing, caring hands. That’s why he could confidently say, “Into your hands I commit my spirit” (v. 5). David believed that the Lord could be trusted even when life got bumpy. Because he was targeted by unfriendly forces, life was very uncomfortable for David. Though vulnerable, he was not without hope. In the midst of harassment David could breathe sighs of relief and rejoice because his faithful, loving God was his source of confidence (vv. 5–7).

Perhaps you find yourself in a season of life when things are coming at you from every direction, and it’s difficult to see what’s ahead. In the midst of uncertainty, confusion, and chaos one thing remains absolutely certain: those who are secure in the Lord are in amazing hands.

By Arthur Jackson

Reflect & Pray

Have you committed your life—your earthly and eternal existence and well-being—to God? How are you showing that you are trusting Him in good times and bad?

Father, help me to be encouraged knowing that Jesus prayed Psalm 31:5 when He was on the cross. In the midst of pain and suffering, He committed His life into Your hands.

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Thrown Off Balance

The earliest creeds of the Christian church confess that Jesus “suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.” It is then confessed, “On the third day, he rose again.”(1) While modern presuppositions may tempt us to interpret the death and resurrection of Jesus as symbolic or spiritual in nature, there was nothing abstract about the events and details confessed by those who first beheld them. Jesus’s suffering was an actual, datable event in history, his crucifixion a sentence inflicted on an actual body; the proclamation of both was the remembrance of a cold reality, something akin to remembering the Holocaust or the Trail of Tears. Likewise, “the third day” was a tangible, historical occasion—albeit an occasion of unfathomable proportions.

Yet the resurrection of Jesus was not viewed as merely a static fact on this particular third day, a fixed event to remain in this history alone. “We believe that Jesus died and rose again” wrote the apostle Paul, “and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.”(2) For those who first beheld it, the resurrection was an event with inherent consequences for everything—for order and purpose, for what it means to be human itself. The earliest confessions of Christ’s death, burial, and third day rising from the dead are immediately followed by certain understood implications. As the Misfit in Flannery O’Connor’s short story observes of this resurrected one, Jesus went and “thrown everything off balance.” The unlikely prophet reasons, “If He did what He said, then it’s nothing for you to do but throw away everything and follow Him, and if He didn’t, then it’s nothing for you to do but enjoy the few minutes you got left the best way you can.”

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Joyce Meyer – Hang Tough

 

And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint. — Galatians 6:9 (AMPC)

Adapted from the resource Closer to God Each Day Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

In Galatians 6:9, “losing heart” and “fainting” refer to giving up in the mind. The Holy Spirit tells us not to give up in our mind, because if we hold on, we will eventually reap good things.

Think about Jesus. Immediately after being baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit, He was led into the wilderness to be tested and tried by the devil. He did not complain and become discouraged and depressed. He did not think or speak negatively. He did not become confused trying to figure out why this had to happen. He went through each test victoriously (Luke 4:1–13).

Can you imagine Jesus traveling around the country, talking with His disciples about how hard everything was? Can you picture Him discussing how difficult the cross was going to be…or how He dreaded the things ahead…or how frustrating it was to have no roof over His head, no bed to sleep in at night?

Jesus drew strength from His heavenly Father and came out in victory. We have His Spirit dwelling in us and the strength available to make it through whatever we are facing.

We can handle our situations the same way Jesus did—by being mentally prepared through “victory thinking” rather than “give-up thinking.”

Prayer Starter: Father, I thank You for the power of Your Holy Spirit that strengthens me to keep pressing on. Please help me to not “faint” in my mind when things get difficult. Thank You that I will reap a reward if I keep moving forward and refuse to give up! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Today’s Promise

 

Dr. Bill Bright 4 Minute Read

Freedom From Fear

“He does not fear bad news, nor live in dread of what may happen. For he is settled in his mind that Jehovah will take care of him” (Psalm 112:7).

Sarah was a hypochondriac, a bundle of nerves, plagued by all kinds of fears – fears that she would become ill, fears that she would have an accident, fears that something would happen to her husband or children or that they would experience financial reverses. Her every conversation was negative. And of course, her attitude alienated her from others, and the more isolated she found herself, the more fearful she became.

Completely absorbed with her own problems, she was seriously thinking of committing suicide when a Christian couple moved in next door to her. They began to demonstrate the love of God and share the good news of His forgiveness in Jesus Christ. Few people had taken an interest in Sarah, but this godly, Christian couple, especially Mary, the wife, embraced her with understanding compassion and a loving heart.

Together they began to study the Bible and after a brief time, Sarah received Christ and began to grow as a Christian. She began to memorize Scripture and took great delight in hiding large quantities of the Word in her heart. Now her mind and her conversation were saturated with the things of God – His attributes, His holiness, His love – and His promises became a joyful reality to her.

A year had passed when one day she remarked to me with great enthusiasm, “I have been liberated. Christ has set me free. I seldom think of my own problems anymore, but find my mind absorbed with God and His truth, and how I might reach out in love and compassion to others as Mary reached out to me in my deepest need.”

Sarah was no longer afraid. The fears that had plagued her were gone, because it was settled in her mind that Jehovah would take care of her and her family. No matter what happened, she knew that she could trust a loving, gracious, holy, righteous God, who had become her very real heavenly Father. Jesus Christ had become more real to her than her own flesh and blood.

Bible Reading: Psalm 112:1-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will seek to know more and more about my Lord by hiding His Word in my heart and meditating upon His many attributes. For I am convinced that He will watch over me, protect and care for me so that nothing can happen to me that He does not allow for my good.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Hungering and Thirsting

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6).

For what are you hungering and thirsting?   The way we clutch our possessions and our pennies, you’d think we couldn’t live without them.  The problem is, the treasures of earth don’t satisfy.  The promise is, the treasures of heaven do.  Blessed are those, then, who hunger and thirst for righteousness.  Blessed are those who are totally dependent upon Jesus for their joy.

Let today be marked by a deep hunger, a craving for God.  May you live this day thirsty… thirsty for what is right. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

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For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

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Denison Forum – Wearable phone bags and foldable PCs: Responding to a brilliant article with news everyone needs

 

Would you pay hundreds of dollars for something that lets you hang your mobile phone around your neck? Retailers are hoping so. As clothing fashions get tighter and cellphones get larger, manufacturers have developed phone bags we can wear. The Wall Street Journal recommends options ranging from $18 in nylon to $890 in woven leather.

In other technology news, Walmart will soon begin testing autonomous home delivery. A German company plans to make flying taxis a reality in the next six years. The first phone that doesn’t require accessories to work on a 5G network went on sale yesterday. And the world’s first foldable PC was announced this week, with deliveries slated for next year.

It seems I could report on new technology every day. This is good news for Christians, but in a way that might surprise us.

“The sum of human ingenuity”

Paul Ford is a technology company CEO and a software engineer. He is also an award-winning writer with articles in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Businessweek, NPR, and others.

His latest article in Wired is not just a brilliant, often funny literary experience—it’s also a profound statement about where we are and why we’re here. Ford begins with this description of how far technology has come in our lifetime:

“When I was a boy, if you’d come up behind me (in a nonthreatening way) and whispered that I could have a few thousand Cray supercomputers in my pocket, that everyone would have them, that we would carry the sum of human ingenuity next to our skin, jangling in concert with our coins, wallets, and keys? And that this Lilliputian mainframe would have eyes to see, a sense of touch, a voice to speak, a keen sense of direction, and an urgent desire to count my actual footsteps and everything I read and said as I traipsed through the noosphere [the sphere of human thought]? Well, I would have just burst.”

Continue reading Denison Forum – Wearable phone bags and foldable PCs: Responding to a brilliant article with news everyone needs