Charles Stanley – Healing for Inferiority

 

Ephesians 3:14-21

The world bombards us with messages that can trigger feelings of inferiority. Happiness and satisfaction are promised if we will only drive the latest car, wear the newest styles, or build up those muscles while shedding pounds. If we do not guard ourselves from commercialism, it will drive the truth of God from our mind, and we will pursue a fruitless search for adequacy and value.

So often we look at externals to prove to ourselves and others that we’re valuable. Or we think, If only I were better-looking, richer, or smarter, I would be accepted and esteemed. It’s not wise to let others’ opinions and standards determine our feelings about ourselves; the only accurate assessment of our worth comes from looking into the eyes of the One who loved us enough to die in our place.

Paul told his readers that true significance comes from knowing and understanding the full dimensions of God’s love for them. This knowledge is our anchor when feelings of worthlessness overwhelm or failures tempt us to berate ourselves and withdraw in defeat. Notice that the Lord doesn’t say He’ll give us all the qualities and possessions we think will overcome our sense of inferiority. Instead, He promises to strengthen us “in the inner man” (Eph. 3:16).

God is “able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think,” but His method is to work from the inside out, “according to the power that works within us” (Eph. 3:20). If you struggle with feelings of inferiority, ask God to heal your soul by doing a great work within.

Bible in One Year: Psalm 1-7

 

 

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Our Daily Bread — God of All People

 

Bible in a Year:Ezra 1–2; John 19:23–42

Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven.

Acts 2:5

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Acts 2:1-12

Former Newsboys lead vocalist Peter Furler describes the performance of the band’s praise song “He Reigns.” The song paints a vivid picture of believers from every tribe and nation coming together to worship God in unity. Furler observed that whenever the Newsboys sang it he could sense the moving of the Holy Spirit in the gathering of believers.

Furler’s description of his experiences with “He Reigns” would likely have resonated with the crowds who converged on Jerusalem at Pentecost. When the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4), things began to happen beyond anyone’s experience. As a result, Jews representing every nation came together in confusion, because each one heard their own language being spoken to make God’s wonders known (vv. 5–6, 11). Peter explained to the crowd that this was in fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy in which God said, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people” (v. 17).

This all-inclusive display of God’s awesome power made the crowd receptive to Peter’s declaration of the gospel, leading to three thousand converts that day alone (v. 41). Following this spectacular kickoff, these new believers then returned to their corner of the world, taking the good news with them.

The good news still resounds today—God’s message of hope for all people. As we praise God together, His Spirit moves among us, bringing people of every nation together in wonderful unity. He reigns!

By Remi Oyedele

Reflect & Pray

In what ways do you see God’s image in other people? How can you view people from every tribe and nation through the lens of Jesus?

Dear heavenly Father, help me to reflect Your heart for all of Your people.

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Solidarity

In 1943, two hundred and thirty women were arrested as members of the French Resistance and sent to Birkenau. Only 49 survived, but this in itself is remarkable. These women were as diverse a group as could be imagined. They were Jews and Christians, aristocrats and working class, young and old. Yet they were united by their commitment to the French Resistance and to one another.(1) In her book A Train in Winter, Caroline Moorhead reconstructs the story of these women through the journals and memoirs of survivors. Noting the mutual dependence that made the difference between living and dying, Moorhead highlights how the solidarity of these women to one another and to their mutual survival sustained them through unspeakable horror and torture.

In many accounts of Holocaust survivors, the hellish conditions of extreme deprivation and torture drove many to hoard whatever meager resources they could save for themselves. And how could they be blamed? Survival became the only goal—no matter what the cost, even to others. Yet, in most of the cases with these French women in Birkenau, their solidarity toward each other trumped the selfishness that engulfed so many others. As Moorhead writes, “Knowing that the fate of each depended on the others… egotism seemed to vanish and that, stripped back to the bare edge of survival, each rose to behavior few would have believed themselves capable of.”(2) Moorhead recounts that when unrelieved thirst threatened to engulf one of their members in utter madness, the women pooled together their own meager rations to get her a whole bucket of water.

Altruism of this magnitude is seldom seen. Putting one’s own needs first is as natural as breathing, and just as unconscious. Yet adversity sometimes coaxes out the best and the most beautiful in human beings.

In the ancient biblical account of Ruth, three women are left widows, and one, Naomi, has lost her sons as well. Bereft of their economic and financial support, the women instinctively stay together even as Naomi insists they return to their homeland of Moab, where the prospect of finding a husband would be more likely. But the women insist on staying. “No, we will surely return with you to your people.”

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Solidarity

Joyce Meyer – First Response

 

O God, You are my God; early will I seek You…. — Psalm 63:1 (NKJV)

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

Sometimes I marvel at how long we can struggle in a situation before we think to talk to God about it and listen for His voice. We complain about our problems; we grumble; we murmur; we tell our friends; and we talk about how we wish God would do something about it.

We struggle with situations in our minds and in our emotions, while we often fail to take advantage of the simplest solution there is: prayer. But worse than that, we then make perhaps the most ridiculous statement known to man: “Well, I guess all I can do is pray.”

I am sure you have heard that before, and maybe you have even said it. We all have. We are all guilty of treating prayer as a last-ditch effort and saying things like, “Well, nothing else is working, so maybe we should pray.”

Do you know what that tells me? It tells me that we really do not believe in the power of prayer as we should. We carry burdens we do not need to bear—and life is much harder than it has to be—because we do not realize how powerful prayer is.

If we did, we would talk to God and listen to what He says about everything, not as a last resort, but as a first response.

Prayer Starter: Father, I take a moment right now to pray for the needs in my life. I know that You love me, You see what I’m going through, and You delight in helping me. Please help me to always run to You first. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – How to Save Your Life

 

“And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for My sake, the same shall save it” (Luke 9:23,24, KJV).

Martin Luther once told the maidens and housewives of Germany that in scrubbing floors and going about their household duties they were accomplishing just as great a work in the sight of heaven as the monks and priests with their penances and holy offices.

In the 15th century, a woman – Margery Baxter – had said the same thing couched in different terms.

“If ye desire to see the true cross of Christ,” she said, “I will show it to you at home in your own house.”

Stretching out her arms, she continued, “This is the true cross of Christ, thou mightest and mayest behold and worship in thine own house. Therefore, it is but vain to run to the church to worship dead crosses.”

Her message was plain: holiness is in our daily service.

Your life and mine are worshiping Christ today to the degree that we practice the presence of God in every minute detail of our lives throughout the day. We are taking up our cross when we shine for Jesus just where we are, obediently serving Him and sharing His good news with others.

If you and I want to save our lives, we do well to lose them in obedient service to the Lord Jesus Christ, allowing His indwelling Holy Spirit to work in us and through us.

Bible Reading: John 12:23-26

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will take up my cross today – shining just where He puts me at this point in my life.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Rely on His Energy

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Paul once asked the Galatian church a question.  “You began your life in Christ by the Spirit.  Now are you trying to make it complete by your own power?  That is foolish” (Galatians 3:3).

I used to think there were two kinds of people: the saved and unsaved.  Paul describes a third: the saved, but unspiritual.  They blend in with nonbelievers.  They let God save them, but not change them.  Their lives are marked by joyless days, contentious relationships, and thirsty hearts.  No wonder they’re tired.

Paul gives the solution in five rich words.  “Be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).  Do you desire God’s Spirit?  Ask.  The Spirit fills as prayers flow.  Try this!  Invite the Holy Spirit into every room of your heart!

Read more Come Thirsty

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

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Denison Forum – Hotel manager offers free lodging for women who come to Michigan for abortions

 

helley O’Brien runs a hotel in Yale, Michigan, a small town north of Detroit. She is making headlines because of her offer to women who live in states where abortion is restricted: if they come to Yale, “we will support you with several nights lodging and transportation to and from your appointment.”

O’Brien likens her support of abortion to the Underground Railroad that was used to lead slaves to freedom. “I have three granddaughters, two great nieces and a lot of other women that I care about, and I don’t want any of them to die in back-alley abortions,” she added. “And I don’t want any of them to ever have to proceed with a pregnancy if they don’t want to. . . . People aren’t perfect, and people shouldn’t have to die for their mistakes.”

But babies should?

A $50 million trip to space

NASA has announced that private tourists can travel to, stay on, and return to earth from the International Space Station. For around $50 million, you can spend thirty days in space. But the fallen world you left will be waiting for you when you come back.

I live in Dallas, Texas, where a ferocious storm toppled a crane Sunday afternoon, falling on a downtown apartment building and killing a twenty-nine-year-old woman. Yesterday morning, giant tree branches littered our neighborhood. More than 100,000 people are still out of power this morning.

Former Red Sox star David Ortiz was transported to Boston early this morning after he was shot in a Dominican Republic club Sunday night. A helicopter crash-landed on the roof of a high-rise building in Midtown Manhattan yesterday afternoon, killing the pilot. Officials say there is no link to terrorism.

And an airplane passenger opened the emergency exit door after mistaking it for the toilet. Fortunately, the plane was still on the ground. Unfortunately, the exit slide deployed automatically and the flight was delayed by seven hours.

The power of hope in hard times

If my car breaks down, I blame the manufacturer. If my roof leaks, I blame the roofer. If my laptop crashes, I blame Apple.

When our world breaks, it’s only natural to blame its Creator.

But Christianity has never guaranteed its followers that their lives would be easier as a result of their faith. The opposite is true, in fact: “In the world you will have tribulation,” Jesus warned us (John 16:33). “Tribulation” translates the Greek word for a weight that crushes grain into flour.

Such suffering is not occasional for believers: “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22 NKJV, my emphasis). That’s because we live in a culture that has rebelled against its maker and is now dominated by Satan, the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

What Jesus did guarantee is that he would redeem all he allows. Henri Nouwen: “Our hope is not based on something that will happen after our sufferings are over, but on the real presence of God’s healing Spirit in the midst of these sufferings.”

Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was so painful that he pled three times with God to remove it (2 Corinthians 12:8). But the apostle heard from God instead: “My power is made perfect in weakness” (v. 9, my emphasis). His hope was found, not on the other side of hardship, but in its midst.

Choosing the “Way of Holiness”

But there’s a catch.

For us to experience God’s best in hard times, we must choose a lifestyle that positions us to be led and used by his Holy Spirit. When we choose the “Way of Holiness” even in the wilderness (Isaiah 35:8), the Spirit sanctifies us (1 Peter 1:2), leads us (John 16:13), empowers us (Acts 1:8), and equips us for ministry (Acts 2:4).

As Oswald Chambers noted, “The Holy Spirit is the One Who makes real in you all that Jesus did for you” (my emphasis).

Such holiness in hard times can be our most powerful witness. As Paul and Silas sang songs of worship at midnight in prison, an earthquake broke their chains and their jailer was converted (Acts 16:25–34). When John Wesley encountered Moravians worshipping during a terrifying storm, their faith helped lead him to a saving relationship with Jesus.

To quote Chambers again: “You can never give another person that which you have found, but you can make him homesick for what you have.”

“Search me, O God, and know my heart!”

When David found himself confronted by enemies (Psalm 139:19–22), here was his prayer: “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” (vv. 23–24).

What hard place is your address today?

Would you make David’s prayer yours right now?

 

http://www.denisonforum.org/

Turns Out, ‘Net Neutrality’ Zealots Were Dead Wrong | Investor’s Business Daily

One Year Later, ‘Net Neutrality’ Zealots Proved Dead Wrong

Deregulation: A year ago, “net neutrality” zealots warned that its repeal would spell doom for a “free and open” internet. They could not have been more wrong.

Net neutrality mania was so intense that one year ago FCC Chairman Ajit Pai had to cancel his appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show because of death threats he’d received. That was the same day the FCC published its final rule repealing “net neutrality.”

So-called experts predicted that removing this cumbersome Obama-era regulatory scheme — which granted the FCC virtually unchecked power over internet providers — would lead to the demise of the internet.

Horror Stories

Repealing “net neutrality” regulations “would be the final pillow in (the internet’s) face,” said The New York Times. The ACLU said it “risks erosion of the biggest free-speech platform the world has ever known.” CNET declared that “net neutrality repeal means your internet may never be the same.” CNN labeled repeal the “end of the internet as we know it.”

One of the Democratic commissioners on the FCC claimed that repealing “net neutrality” would “green light to our nation’s largest broadband providers to engage in anti-consumer practices, including blocking, slowing down traffic, and paid prioritization of online applications and services.”

There were protests and lawsuits. The biggest companies on the internet mounted online campaigns. Democrats vowed to make “net neutrality” a major campaign issue.

What Actually Happened

A year later, none of the horror stories came true. In fact, average internet speeds climbed by roughly a third last year. The number of homes with access to fiber internet jumped 23% last year, according to the Fiber Broadband Association.

Oh, and “net neutrality” was a nonissue in the Democratic midterm campaigns. One party official said that Dems didn’t campaign on it because: “It’s not something that people bring up in their top list of concerns.”

In a statement last week, Pai said that, “the FCC’s light-touch approach is working.”

Meanwhile, at this year’s CES, the industry will highlight the promise of 5G internet, which allows speeds 100 times faster than the current wireless networks. D-Link plans to showcase a 5G router that will let homeowners cut the cord and still get speeds 40 times faster.

Promise of 5G

Not only will speed climb exponentially, but 5G will inject still more competition in the ISP market. Even “net neutrality” advocates should be willing to admit that there’s no need for a massive federal regulatory system in a highly competitive market, since no internet provider would dare throttle or block sites for fear of losing customers.

What we did learn over the past year is that the real threats to a “free and open” internet aren’t the ISPs, but the self-appointed internet censors at Google, Facebook and Twitter.

The only question that remains is whether those “net neutrality” zealots will apologize to the public for repeatedly crying wolf.

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Turns Out, ‘Net Neutrality’ Zealots Were Dead Wrong | Investor’s Business Daily

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