Charles Stanley – Heart of Worship

 

Psalm 95

See if you identify with this scenario: You go to church and sing the songs, but you aren’t really paying attention to the words or their meaning. The pastor stands up to pray, and your mind begins to wander. During the sermon, you become distracted and miss a large part of the message.

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? It’s a common experience and has been for a long time: Isaiah denounced the Israelites for honoring the Lord with their lips while their hearts were far from Him (Isa. 29:13). As children of God, we must take this seriously and consider whether we are actually worshipping the Lord or just going through the motions.

To truly worship, we must do more than mouth words of praise and look attentive. Our minds should be set on the Lord, not lesser things. Like the psalmist, our entire inner being should be engaged in both exaltation of the Lord and humble submission to Him as our Maker and Shepherd.

Genuine worship also requires a heart of faith and a disposition of obedience to God. It would be difficult for unbelievers to worship the Lord, because they don’t have the Holy Spirit and cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). Nor does God find worship acceptable from believers who cling unrepentantly to sin (Ps. 66:18). Drawing near to Him requires clean hands and a pure heart, which is possible only through Jesus Christ (Ps. 24:3-4).

The goal of worship is to glorify God, and it begins with our attitude. We must come into His presence with a repentant and humble heart, a mind focused on Him, and a life that demonstrates obedience.

Bible in One Year: John 6-7

 

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Our Daily Bread — The Safest Place

 

Bible in a Year:

God is our refuge and strength.

Psalm 46:1

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Psalm 46:1–11

As Hurricane Florence was bearing down on Wilmington, North Carolina, with devastating force, my daughter prepared to leave her home. She’d waited until the last moment, hoping the storm would veer away. But now she was hurriedly sorting through important papers, pictures, and belongings, trying to decide what to take with her. “I didn’t expect it would be so hard to leave,” she told me later, “but in that moment I didn’t know if anything would be there when I got back.”

Life’s storms come in many forms: hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, unexpected problems in marriage or with children, the sudden loss of health or finances. So much we value can be swept away in a moment.

Amid the storms, Scripture points us to the safest place: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way” (Psalm 46:1–2).

The writers of this psalm were descendants of a man who generations earlier served God but then rebelled against Him and perished in an earthquake (see Numbers 26:9–11). The outlook they share shows humility and a profound understanding of God’s greatness, compassion, and redeeming love.

Troubles come, but God outlasts them all. Those who run to the Savior discover that He can’t be shaken. In the arms of His eternal love we find our place of peace.

By: James Banks

Reflect & Pray

Amid life’s unpredictable storms, how does God give you peace? How do you intend to run to Him today?

O God, the One who is greater than the storm, help me to place every fear in Your hands today and to rest in Your unfailing love.

 

 

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Streams in the Desert for Kids -Every Single Thing

 

Mark 9:23

Everything? Wow! That’s some promise, Jesus! The promise was given when a man brought his son to Jesus. The boy had an evil spirit living inside him. It made the boy do strange and sometimes dangerous things. The father said to Jesus, “If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” That’s when Jesus answered with a question, “‘If you can’?” and then said, “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

So what do you want from Jesus? Would it be good to pray for something then add, “If it is your will”? That’s the hard part of knowing how to pray—are we praying the way God wants us to pray?

Understanding that Jesus can do everything is easy because God’s Word says it is true. But that doesn’t mean God will automatically do everything you ask. Even though he can, he may delay an answer—or do something else—to develop your faith. For example, God told Joseph that Joseph would rule in Egypt one day. But many years passed before God put Joseph on a throne. During that time, God tried Joseph’s soul but developed his faith.

The challenge for us is to believe God’s Word that says he can do anything, but then trust that if he doesn’t do what we ask, he is up to something else for our good.

Dear Lord, I believe it. You are the one who can do everything. I trust you and whatever answers you give me. Amen.

Joyce Meyer – Get Ready for Joy

 

…Weeping may endure for a night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning. — Psalm 30:5 (AMP)

Does your happiness depend on everything in your life being just right? If you think you can’t be happy until all your circumstances are right, you will never be happy. We all experience times in life when we feel down for various reasons, but we can’t allow our circumstances to control our emotions.

Satan seeks to fill your mind with negative thoughts and emotions that cause you to feel down because He is a discourager. But Jesus is your encourager, and He came to lift you up. He came to give you righteousness, joy, and all the things that cause you to feel “up”!

We all experience times of frustration and distress over unfulfilled hopes and dreams. When things don’t go according to your plans, it’s normal to feel disappointment. Things may make you feel sad temporarily, but when you know that weeping only lasts for a time and then comes joy, it makes everything better.

Prayer Starter: Father, Your Word says that You are “the Lifter of my head” (see Psalm 3:3). Today, I offer any sadness, discouragement and disappointment to You. Help me to purposely choose to walk in Your joy, knowing that You have so many good things ahead for my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Judging the World

 

“For He has set a day for justly judging the world by the man He has appointed, and has pointed Him out by bringing Him back to life again” (Acts 17:31).

Why does God command men and women to repent? And why does He expect you and me to relay His message to them?

The answer is simple: because “He has set a day for justly judging the world.” And if people refuse to be penitent and thus become pardoned, they must be condemned.

“Justly,” of course, can be interpreted: “according to the rules of strict justice.” And who will do the judging? The man God has appointed – His only Son, Jesus Christ; the one He has pointed out to us clearly by bringing Him back to life again.

Jesus, you will remember, declared that He would judge the nations (John 5:25,26 and Matthew 25). God confirmed the truth of those declarations by raising Him from the dead – giving His sanction to what the Lord Jesus has said, for surely God would not work a miracle on behalf of an imposter.

What comfort and help can you and I receive from these truths today? Surely, this is a reminder that God is still on the throne; He is in control; nothing is going on in the world without His knowledge and consent.

Further, we are reminded of God’s justice, which assures us that He will always do right in behalf of His children. That falls right in line with Romans 8:28, of course, which concerns all things working together for our good.

Bible Reading: Psalm 9:7-10

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: World turmoil will not upset me, for I know the God who sits on the throne – and who rules over all

 

 

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