Charles Stanley – Praise for the Lamb

 

Revelation 5

Anyone who isn’t sure that Jesus is God and is worthy of worship should take a look at today’s passage. This heavenly scene opens with a dilemma—no one is found worthy to open the scroll in God’s right hand until the Lion of Judah, the root of David, appears as a Lamb standing as if slain.

This is none other than Jesus Christ, who offered Himself as a sacrifice for mankind’s sin. He took our sin upon Himself, suffered the punishment we deserved, and clothed us in His righteousness so that, through faith in Him, we could be reconciled to God. Now He stands in heaven, receiving praise and honor from all its inhabitants. He alone is worthy to break the seals and open the scroll, which contains God’s final plans for human history.

If the angels, the elders, and the four living creatures praise the Son and the Father with such reverence, awe, and exaltation, then we who are direct recipients of divine mercy and grace can, too. The citizens of heaven hold nothing back in their unceasing worship and adoration as they humbly bow before the throne.

Considering all that our triune God has done for us, praise should be our humble and joyful response. He delights in hearing our voices raised in adoration and worship as we declare that He is worthy of all honor.

Is God the focus of your thoughts and emotions as you join with fellow believers in exalting Him, or do you sing the words thoughtlessly or get caught up in an emotional experience? Although worship will be perfect only in heaven, let’s start practicing now.

Bible in One Year: John 20-21

 

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Our Daily Bread — That Was Awesome!

 

Bible in a Year:

Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor.

Proverbs 12:24

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Proverbs 12:12, 24–28

It was the seventh-grader’s first cross-country meet, but she didn’t want to run. Although she’d been preparing for the event, she was afraid of doing poorly. Still, she started the race with everyone else. Later, one by one the other runners finished the two-mile course and crossed the finish line—everyone except the reluctant runner. Finally, her mom, who was watching for her daughter to finish, saw a lone figure in the distance. The mother went to the finish line, preparing to comfort a distraught competitor. Instead, when the young runner saw her mom, she exclaimed, “That was awesome!”

What can be awesome about finishing last? Finishing!

The girl had tried something difficult and had accomplished it! Scripture honors hard work and diligence, a concept often learned through sports or music or other things that require perseverance and effort.

Proverbs 12:24 says, “Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor.” And later we read, “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty” (14:23). These wise principles—not promises—can help us serve God well.

God’s plan for us always included work. Even before the fall, Adam was to “work [the Garden] and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15). And any effort we make should be done “with all [our] heart” (Colossians 3:23). Let’s work in the strength He gives us—and leave the results to Him.

By: Dave Branon

Reflect & Pray

What are some areas where I can learn from this teenager to be diligent and persevere? How does doing my best and working hard honor God?

Heavenly Father, whatever it is You have asked me to do today—big or small—help me to do it.

 

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Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Twists and Turns

 

One of the wonderful gifts of being young is the endless optimism about the future. It seems that infinite possibilities stretch out before you; creative energy flows freely and there is a vitality that enlivens each new path and experience. All the roads before you open up and offer smooth transport to the attainment of one dream after another.

When I was a young child, the wisdom sayings of King Solomon were some of my favorite passages in the Bible. Their prescriptions offered an optimistic view of life for those who sought to follow the God. For some reason, the words seemed to bounce with joy, energy, and a sense of lightness. For example, “trust in the Lord with all your heart…and He will make your paths straight” were verses that seemed to indicate God’s direct guidance for all his children into happy, straight pathways. I inferred that trusting in God’s guidance would be the result of walking down all the wonderful, straight pathways that lay out before me. I would willingly and gladly walk towards the attainment of all my goals, desires, and dreams.

While these are still precious Scripture verses to me, I have come to understand them differently as an adult. The trust I proclaimed seemed easy as everything went my way. I didn’t rely on my own understanding because I didn’t have to! But, as is true of much of the human experience, my roads did not all run straight. When dreams began to die, life-goals went unmet, and desires dried up, I realized the challenge these verses really offer.

In his book, A Grief Observed, C.S. Lewis writes on the challenging nature of belief. “You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you. It is easy to say you believe a rope to be strong and sound as long as you are merely using it to cord a box.”(1) Indeed, as many of my life goals unraveled before me, ‘trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding’ took on new meaning in the face of absence, want, and unfulfillment. Real trust in God would be forged out of the fires of testing—testing that revealed whether or not I really believed in God, or in what God would give me. So, as God had seemingly abandoned my plans, my test of trust began.

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Joyce Meyer – Start Your Day Right

 

When I thought, “My foot slips,” your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up. — Psalm 94:18

Adapted from the resource Starting Your Day Right Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

Some people seem to start their day on the “wrong foot.” They feel all right when they wake up, but as soon as something goes wrong they lose their footing and walk with a “loser’s limp” the rest of the day. Once they are off to a bad start, it seems they never catch up.

If someone offends us early in the morning, our anger can keep us defensive all day. If we start the day rushing, it seems we never slow down. But today our feet can be firmly planted in God’s Word. There will be no “bad day” when God’s Word supports, strengthens, and directs us.

Prayer Starter: Lord, I lift my day up to You and ask for Your help to get off on the right foot. Help me to go forward with a clean heart and a positive mindset focused on You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Claiming the Promise

 

“But when I am afraid, I will put my confidence in You. Yes, I will trust the promises of God. And since I am trusting Him, what can mere man do to me?” (Psalm 56:3,4).

Raymond and Martha were active church members and gave generously to the needs of the fellowship. But their real security, as Raymond shared, was largely in monetary holdings. After working hard for many years to build a financial empire, they had nothing to worry about. They were on “Easy Street” and could do anything for the rest of their lives, confident of being able to pass on a sizable fortune to their children and grandchildren.

But at this point, Raymond turned over the reins of his business to a trusted employee who, through mismanagement and embezzlement, coupled with a severe economic depression, was able to destroy in approximately two years what had taken Raymond more than thirty years to accumulate.

Devastated and fearful, Raymond and Martha turned to God and His Word. As they claimed God’s promises, the Savior whom they had professed to know but had not really known, became a reality in their lives. They became joyful, radiant and victorious. Though they had lost almost everything materially, they had, in the process, gained all that was really important. Now their trust was in the Lord who filled their lives with His love and grace. They passed on God’s blessing to others, including me.

Bible Reading: Psalm 25:4-10

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will not wait until personal tragedy, physical illness, financial reverses, heartache or sorrow cross my path, but will place my confidence in the Lord and in his Word and begin now to draw upon His supernatural resources to live a full and meaningful life for His glory

 

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Prayer is a Heartfelt Conversation

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Prayer isn’t a privilege for the pious, not the art of a chosen few.  Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and His child.  When we invite God into our world, He brings a host of gifts: joy, patience, resilience.  Anxieties come, but they don’t stick.  Fears surface and then depart. I’m completing my sixth decade, yet I’m wired with energy. Happier, healthier, and more hopeful! Struggles come, for sure, but so does God.

My friend, He wants to talk with you.  Even now as you hear these words, He taps at the door.  Open it.  Welcome Him in and let the conversation begin.

Here’s my prayer challenge to you!  Every day for four weeks, pray four minutes.  Then get ready to connect with God like never before!

Read more Before Amen: The Power of a Simple Prayer

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

 

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Denison Forum – What makes this Homecoming King and Queen so special? Valuing every life as much as God does

 

Noah Stokes and Khrystya Gordon were crowned Homecoming King and Queen last Friday at Arapahoe High School in Littleton, Colorado. They were honored in the Homecoming parade and dance the next day.

Why is their story so newsworthy? Because both Noah and Khrystya have Down syndrome.

I cite their story in light of a National Review article reporting that 61 to 93 percent of US women choose abortion after a Down syndrome diagnosis.

Fortunately, federal legislation has been introduced that forbids abortion providers from performing abortions sought because the fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome. Tragically, a Gallup survey shows that 49 percent of Americans favor such abortions in the first trimester (though support drops to 29 percent in the third trimester).

99 percent of this group is happy with their lives

A study published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics asked people with Down syndrome ages twelve and older about their self-perceptions. Nearly 99 percent indicated that they were happy with their lives; 97 percent liked who they were; 96 percent liked how they look; and nearly 99 percent expressed love for their families.

The participants “encouraged parents to love their babies with Down syndrome, mentioning that their own lives were good.” The study concluded: “Overall, the overwhelming majority of people with Down syndrome surveyed indicate they live happy and fulfilling lives.”

Continue reading Denison Forum – What makes this Homecoming King and Queen so special? Valuing every life as much as God does