Charles Stanley – Communicating God’s Truth

 

Matthew 28:18-20

You’ve probably heard people say, “That may be true for you but not for me.” Genuine truth is not relative. Nor is it a part-time phenomenon. So, when Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6), He meant it for everyone. The rock-solid principles that God has communicated should be shared with others.

We see this admonition repeatedly in Scripture. In Matthew 28:18-20, the Lord gives us what is known as the Great Commission. This is a charge for all of us who believe: We’re to go out and spread the truth about Jesus Christ, teaching others what we have learned.

Likewise, in 2 Timothy 2:2, Paul instructs Timothy not only to tell others what he has learned, but also to encourage those men to tell even more people. And Paul elsewhere states that we, as believers, are “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20). In other words, we are His emissaries to the world. We are to take what we know and make it known to those we encounter. For what purpose? The passage makes it clear that our mission is to help others be reconciled to God.

How can we ever doubt the urgency of this message? We have a truth to tell, and we must share it!

This week, take the time to write out your faith story, and review it so you’ll feel comfortable and confident sharing that testimony with others. Pray for opportunities to share how God’s love has changed your life. Then trust the results to the Lord.

Bible in One Year: Hosea 1-5

 

 

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Joyce Meyer – Learning to Expect Good Things

 

All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast [regardless of circumstances]. — Proverbs 15:15 (AMPC)

Adapted from the resource Battlefield of the Mind Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

Shortly after I began to seriously study the Bible, I felt an oppressive atmosphere around me. Everything seemed gloomy—as if something bad was going to happen. It wasn’t anything I could explain, just a vague, dreaded sense of something evil or wrong about to happen.

“Oh, God,” I prayed. “What’s going on? What is this feeling?” I had hardly uttered the question when God spoke to me. “Evil forebodings.” I had to meditate on that for several minutes. I had never heard the phrase before. God had spoken to me, and I stayed quiet before Him so I could hear the answers.

I realized, first of all, that my anxieties weren’t real—that is, they were not based on true circumstances or situations. I was having problems—as most of us do —but they were not as critical as the devil was making it appear. My acceptance of his lies, even though they were vague, was opening the door for the evil forebodings.

I eventually realized that I had lived in the midst of similar gloomy feelings most of my life. I was expecting something bad to happen instead of aggressively expecting something good. I felt a dread, an unexplained anxiety around me. I couldn’t put my finger on anything specific—only that sense of something evil or terrible.

The Living Bible says, “When a man is gloomy, everything seems to go wrong.” That’s how I felt, as if something—maybe everything—was wrong or was about to go wrong.

As previously stated, I realized that for most of my life, I had been miserable because of evil thoughts and anxious forebodings. As I continued to meditate on evil forebodings, God broke through and gave me a clear revelation. I was miserable because my thoughts were miserable—my thoughts were poisoning my outlook. My thoughts robbed me of the ability to enjoy my life.

I should have been saying, “Thank You, God, for today. Thank you for Dave and my children and my friends and all Your blessings.” But, instead of being positive, I found myself even dreading to answer the phone when it rang, for fear it might be bad news.

All of this gloom and doom that surrounded me began in my abusive childhood. I endured a great deal of misery, and most of my life was unhappy and filled with disappointments. I began to live in a vague fear and dread of the future. I had not been taught to let go of what was behind.

I couldn’t rejoice in what I had now and the good things going on in my life. I focused on the past and what might lie ahead—and what lay ahead was usually gloom and doom and chaos because that was what I was expecting.

Satan had built a stronghold in my mind, and I was trapped until I learned I could tear down that negative, evil stronghold by applying God’s Word to my life and circumstances.

I once had a friend whom I’ll call Marlene. She lived in a state of constant chaos. One day she had health problems. The next day Marlene’s son had lost his job, and they were going to have to support him and his family. As soon as that was over, another traumatic situation would erupt.

Marlene was a Christian, but she lived in fear of bad news. Marlene would not have known how to live a life that was not filled with chaos. All of her conversation was negative and gloomy. Even her countenance was sad and gloomy.

I realized that I had started to become like Marlene—I was miserable because I had allowed Satan to rob me of the ability to enjoy my life. It took a while before I was able to be positive most of the time, but little by little, my thinking changed, and so did my life.

I no longer live in evil forebodings, expecting to hear at any moment of a new problem. Now I purposely expect good things to happen in my life. I realize now that I can choose my thoughts. I don’t have to accept Satan’s lies.

Like everyone else, negative things do happen to me from time to time, but I don’t become negative because of them. I remain positive, and that helps me enjoy my life even in the midst of the storms.

Prayer Starter: Father, I thank You for the great future You have planned for me. Please help me to choose positive thoughts that line up with Your Word and expect Your goodness in every area of my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Max Lucado – Joy in the Success of Others

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

We are not God’s gift to humanity.  God can use each of us, but he doesn’t need any of us.  We are valuable but not indispensable.  You love.  But who loved you first?  You serve.  But who served the most?  What are you doing for God that God could not do alone?

How wise of us to remember Paul’s antidote to joy-sucking self-promotion.  “With humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself” (Philippians 2:3).

Here is a helpful exercise that can turn your focus off yourself and on to others.  During the next twenty-four hours make it your aim to celebrate everything good that happens to someone else. Keep a list.  You will move from joy to joy as you regard other people’s success as more important than your own.  And this is how happiness happens.

Read more How Happiness Happens – Finding Lasting Joy in a world of Comparison, Disappointment, and Unmet Expectations

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

 

 

 

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