Charles Stanley – Small Steps to a Great Destiny

 

Luke 5:1-11

God’s simple requests of us are oftentimes stepping-stones to His greatest blessings. Although we may view these lesser events as unimportant, the Lord sees them as a big deal. The apostle Peter is a wonderful example of a man who took small steps that led to a great destiny.

When Jesus asked to be taken out in Peter’s boat, the fisherman could have said no. After all, he’d put in a full night’s work and was probably exhausted. But by taking this small step, Peter received a front-row seat to hear the greatest teacher on earth, and he began a life-changing adventure.

Although Jesus’ first request was fairly ordinary, His next suggestion would challenge everything Peter knew to be logical. Heading into deep water at midday for the purpose of catching fish was ludicrous to this fishing expert. Sometimes the Lord asks us to do what seems unreasonable. We should remember that the Lord is not obligated to work within the realm of what’s normal or logical. If Peter had refused this unusual request, he would have missed the biggest catch of his life—and I don’t mean just the fish. This miracle opened Peter’s eyes to catch sight of his Messiah. When he got out of that boat, the fish meant nothing to him because Jesus became his everything.

The Lord isn’t waiting for us to do some big, impressive task for Him; He’s simply calling us to obey Him one small step at a time. Don’t miss the great adventure God has for you. Even when His ways seem unreasonable, follow Him faithfully, and your destiny will unfold before your eyes.

Bible in One Year: Nehemiah 8-10

 

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Our Daily Bread — Never Alone

 

Bible in a Year:2 Chronicles 4–6; John 10:24–42

He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth.

John 14:16–17

Today’s Scripture & Insight:John 14:15-18

While writing a Bible guide for pastors in Indonesia, a writer friend grew fascinated with that nation’s culture of togetherness. Called gotong royong—meaning “mutual assistance”—the concept is practiced in villages, where neighbors may work together to repair someone’s roof or rebuild a bridge or path. In cities too my friend said, “People always go places with someone else—to a doctor’s appointment, for example. It’s the cultural norm. So you’re never alone.”

Worldwide, believers in Jesus rejoice in knowing we also are never alone. Our constant and forever companion is the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. Far more than a loyal friend, the Spirit of God is given to every follower of Christ by our heavenly Father to “help you and be with you forever” (John 14:16).

Jesus promised God’s Spirit would come after His own time on Earth ended. “I will not leave you as orphans,” Jesus said (v. 18). Instead, the Holy Spirit—“the Spirit of Truth” who “lives with you and will be in you”—indwells each of us who receives Christ as Savior (v. 17).

The Holy Spirit is our Helper, Comforter, Encourager, and Counselor—a constant companion in a world where loneliness can afflict even connected people. May we forever abide in His comforting love and help.

By Patricia Raybon

Reflect & Pray

As a believer in Christ, how does it encourage you to know that the Holy Spirit lives inside of you? How have you neglected God’s comfort?

Jesus promised we will always have companionship with the Holy Spirit, who never leaves us.

To learn more about basic Christian beliefs visit christianuniversity.org/ST101.

 

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Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Lion and Lamb

One cannot help but be deeply disheartened and disturbed by the barrage of violent headlines: two men pulled over at traffic stops and brutally shot, police officers targeted and killed, terrorist attacks around the world, rancor and fighting among ourselves over politics, economics, or petty offenses. As one event piles onto another, I wonder aloud over the apparent love of violence by human beings. With all the heartache and despair left in the wake of these kinds of tragedies, why won’t people tire of violence?

Unfortunately, violent events are no longer a shock or a surprise. In fact, they are often as familiar to us and our world as our exercise routines. Yet, perhaps the familiar reminder of violence brings to our attention that something is very wrong in this world. If we are honest with ourselves, we know that evil is not just out there, apart from us, but dwells all too closely within our own hearts. The ancient prophet Jeremiah understood this dark reality of human nature: “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).

While I wish Jeremiah’s indictment was for everyone else out there—murderous assassins or political rivals—I know too well my own heart’s violence. It comes naturally to be quick to make a judgement, to grow irritated at minor offenses, or to feel the rage that emerges when my way, my plans, my agenda is thwarted. How often I wish I could take back all of the careless words spoken in anger against my loved ones? When might I tire of violence?

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Lion and Lamb

Joyce Meyer – Best

 

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. — James 1:17

Adapted from the resource Wake Up to the Word Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

You were created to have a deep, intimate, personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ and the very best life He came to offer.

Acts 10:34 (AMPC) says, …God shows no partiality and is no respecter of persons. This means His promises apply equally to everyone who follows Him.

Yes, you can have the very best God offers, but you can’t give up when times get tough. If you’ll trust God and follow Him wholeheartedly, you will discover your best life in Him.

God has a great purpose for you, and I urge you not to settle for anything less. He wants to bless you and give you a life that will not only thrill you, fulfill you, and bring you deep joy and sweet satisfaction but also challenge you, stretch you and help you discover that, in Christ, you’re stronger than you think.

Prayer Starter: Lord, I want every good thing You have for my life! Help me to persevere through life’s difficulties and seek You with my whole heart. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Real Life, Radiant Health

 

“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).

George Muller was asked the secret of his fruitful service for the Lord. “There was a day when I died,” he said, “utterly died.”

As he spoke, he bent lower and lower until he almost touched the floor.

“I died to George Muller,” he continued, “his opinions, preferences, tastes and will – died to the world, its approval or censure – died to the approval or blame even of my brethren and friends – and since then I have studied only to show myself approved unto God.”

With that kind of obedience to God and His inspired Word, it is small wonder that that great man of faith, George Muller, saw God perform miracle after miracle in his behalf, helping to support hundreds and even thousands of orphans simply by trusting God to provide.

Men and women of the world today would pay literally millions of dollars for the real life and radiant health promised in Proverbs 4:20-22 to the believer for simple faith and trust in God. “Listen, son of mine, to what I say. Listen carefully. Keep these thoughts ever in mind; let them penetrate deep within your heart, for they will mean real life for you, and radiant health.” To me, these verses encourage reading, studying, memorizing and meditating upon the Word of God.

Being crucified with Christ and hiding His Word in our hearts will not only keep us from sin, but it will also promote real life and radiant health for us, which we will want to share with others.

Bible Reading: Proverbs 4:23-27, 5:1-2

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: By faith, I will recognize that I have been crucified with Christ and will keep His thoughts in my mind throughout this day, meditating on His promises and faithfulness.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – The Dungeon of Doubt

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

“Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” (Matthew 11:3).  John the Baptist asked this question of Christ.  John was in deep trouble; he was in jail and Jesus was silent. Anytime the faithful suffer the consequences of the faithless….anytime a person does a good deed but suffers evil results…they spend time in the dungeon of doubt.

Clouds of doubt are created when the warm, moist air of our expectations meet the cold air of God’s silence.  You may learn what John the Baptist did:  that the problem is not so much in God’s silence as it is in our ability to hear God’s solution.

Read more Applause of Heaven

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

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Denison Forum – The legacies of Bill Buckner and Bart Starr: “For what shall we live?”

If your life ended this week, for what would you be remembered?

Bill Buckner played twenty-two seasons in the major leagues, winning a batting title with the Chicago Cubs in 1980 and playing in the All-Star Game the next year. He retired with a lifetime batting average of .289.

But it was a single play that defined his career for many. Buckner was hobbled with ankle injuries but playing first base for the Boston Red Sox when his team was one strike from winning the World Series in 1986. After three singles and a wild pitch, the game was tied.

Then a grounder went under Buckner’s glove, leading to his team’s loss. The Red Sox then lost the deciding seventh game and the Series. Buckner endured boos and even death threats from Red Sox fans.

However, years later, the city forgave and even embraced him. After Boston won the World Series in 2007, Buckner was invited back to Fenway Park to throw out the first pitch at the team’s home opener in 2008. He received a standing ovation.

Bill Buckner died yesterday at the age of sixty-nine.

Bart Starr and Amanda Eller

Bart Starr, the legendary quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, died Sunday at the age of eighty-five. He was best known for the 1967 “Ice Bowl.” Fighting a wind chill of minus 48 degrees, Starr led his team to victory over the Dallas Cowboys and then won that year’s Super Bowl.

Continue reading Denison Forum – The legacies of Bill Buckner and Bart Starr: “For what shall we live?”