Charles Stanley – Remembering God’s Priority

 

Numbers 15:37-41

At times, people will say, “I’ve made Jesus a part of my life.” But this statement reveals that they have missed the point. The truth is, Jesus can never be simply a part of life; at salvation, Jesus becomes our life—everything revolves around Him because He is the central focus.

For the believer, the essence of living is to walk in childlike obedience to Christ. That means we express His righteous life simply by faith. To do this, we depend on the power of the Holy Spirit for enablement and divine grace for forgiveness when we stumble. And stumbling will occur because we live amidst two kingdoms that are in constant conflict. On the one hand, there’s the pull of the world, and on the other, the pull of God. In other words, Satan throws temptations our way, but from our Father comes the appeal of holiness, peace, and joy in Christ.

That’s why Jesus taught, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:33). The way to do this is by spending time with our Father in prayer and in His Word. Doing so will not only clear from our thinking anything that doesn’t fit with God’s priorities; it will also serve to remind us of His commands and His greatness (Rom. 12:2; Psalm 105:4-5).

The battle is ongoing. And it rages not just in the realms of education, science, politics, and finances but also within every human heart. To be successful in God’s eyes, it’s critical that we keep His priorities as our own and make continual course corrections to stay on track.

Bible in One Year: 2 Chronicles 24-25

 

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Our Daily Bread — We Need Each Other

 

Bible in a Year:1 Chronicles 4–6; John 6:1–21

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.

Colossians 3:15

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Colossians 3:12-17

While on a hike with my kids, we discovered a light, springy green plant growing in small clumps on the trail. According to a signpost, the plant is commonly called deer moss, but it’s not actually a moss at all. It’s a lichen. A lichen is a fungus and an alga growing together in a mutualistic relationship in which both organisms benefit from each other. Neither the fungus nor the alga can survive on its own, but together they form a hardy plant that can live in some alpine areas for up to 4,500 years. Because the plant can withstand drought and low temperatures, it’s one of the only food sources for caribou (reindeer) in deep winter.

The relationship between the fungus and the alga reminds me of our human relationships. We rely on each other. To grow and flourish, we need to be in relationship with each other.

Paul, writing to believers in Colossae, describes how our relationships should look. We are to clothe ourselves with “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12). We ought to forgive each other and live in peace “as members of one body” (v. 15).

It’s not always easy to live in peace with our families or friends. But when the Spirit empowers us to exhibit humility and forgiveness in our relationships, our love for each other points to Christ (John 13:35) and brings glory to God.

By Amy Peterson

Reflect & Pray

In what ways do your relationships point to Jesus? How can you pursue peace? 

Holy Spirit, fill us with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience toward each other so the world may see Your love in us.

 

http://www.odb.org

Joyce Meyer – Getting Off the Performance Treadmill

 

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. — 1 John 4:9

Adapted from the resource The Power of Being Thankful Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

As long as we are on what I call the “performance treadmill,” we will inevitably suffer with disappointment in ourselves. We will feel that we have not performed as expected. We did not get an “A” on our spiritual tests, we fell short of our goals, we lost our tempers, and now we are disappointed with ourselves, and we are sure that God is disappointed too.

The truth that we can be grateful for is that God already knew that we wouldn’t perform as expected when He chose to love us. And it is His love that is the basis for our relationship with Him, not our works. When our relationship with God is a solid foundation in our lives, we will be free to do the best we can, and not get stressed out about our imperfections. It’s time to get off the treadmill and run in the freedom of His grace.

Prayer Starter: I thank You, Father, that You are not disappointed with me. You knew what You were getting when You chose me. Thank You for choosing me anyway and for loving me perfectly in the midst of my imperfections. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – The Best Counsel

 

“The godly man is a good counselor because he is just and fair and knows right from wrong” (Psalm 37:30,31).

Mary had gone to several psychologists and psychiatrists, and even religious leaders, seeking help, but no one had been able to help her. Consequently, she had been committed to a mental institution. Now, in desperation her family had come to seek help.

It did not take long to discover the root of her problem – she was plagued with a deep sense of guilt. Mary had been sexually promiscuous as a teenager, and prior to that she had been violated by her step-father who had taken advantage of her when she was a very young girl.

All of this tormented her greatly, but no one had taken her to the Word of God to help her understand that she did not have to carry the burden of her own sin. There is forgiveness. Scripture teaches that if we confess our sins, God is waiting to forgive and cleanse us.

There are three things we need to know about confession. First, the word “confess” means, in the original Greek language, “to agree with.” If I agree with God concerning my immorality, stealing, dishonesty, whatever it may be, I am saying, “Lord, I know it is sin.” Second, we know from Scripture that Christ has paid the penalty for our sins by shedding His blood on the cross. And third, we must repent, which means we change our attitude toward that sin. This results in a change of action. When we do this, we have the promise that what we confess, God forgives, and He cleanses us from all unrighteousness.

When Mary understood the truth of God’s promise, she and I knelt together and by faith she surrendered all of her guilt and frustration to Christ, who died for her, and she claimed God’s forgiveness.

Only God could liberate her from the darkness and gloom of Satan’s kingdom and bring her into kingdom of light – the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. Mary sensed God’s immediate liberation and began to rejoice in the assurance of forgiveness and eternal life with Christ. She became a radiant, joyful and victorious witness for our Savior.

Bible Reading: Psalm 37:22-40

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Not only will I seek the counsel of godly men and women, but I will, with God’s help, become a godly person myself. I will saturate my mind with the truth of His holy Scripture, so that I will know what is right and wrong according to the Word of God, and I will then be able to give wise counsel to others.

 

http://www.cru.org