Charles Stanley – The Problem With Compromise

 

Psalm 119:1-8

Compromise may be helpful for relationships, but it can hurt our spiritual journey. Bending God’s principles is risky.

For example, suppose a Christian man makes some new acquaintances, who don’t share his beliefs. Having grown up in the church, he has practically memorized Proverbs 13:20—“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm” (NIV)—and recognizes the verse is meant to protect Christians from worldly influences. But he rationalizes that spending time here or there with these friends won’t hurt him, which is probably true. Eventually, however, he ends up spending more time with them than with believers and begins to question his beliefs. Heeding that proverb might have helped him avoid drifting away from the heavenly Father.

To navigate such situations, we must look ahead for possible danger. Even choices that seem trivial can have far-reaching consequences. But the Lord equips us with a conscience and the Holy Spirit, who sounds an alarm if we veer into dangerous territory.

For us to hear these warnings, our heart must be tuned into God’s Spirit and Word. Relying on our own understanding can lead to trouble. But those who trust the Lord and apply His principles will find straight paths through potentially dangerous situations (3:5-6).

The man in the above example knew God’s principles and felt the Spirit’s cautionary nudge but ignored it. Like him, we are better off following the Lord’s initial warning so we can steer clear of compromise.

Bible in One Year: Acts 5-7

 

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Our Daily Bread — It’s Up to God

 

Bible in a Year:

Your will be done.

Matthew 6:10

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Matthew 6:5–15

Nate and Sherilyn enjoyed their stop at an omakase restaurant while visiting New York City. Omakase is a Japanese word that translates, “I will leave it up to you,” which means customers at such restaurants let the chef choose their meal. Even though it was their first time to try this type of cuisine and it sounded risky, they loved the food the chef chose and prepared for them.

That idea could carry over to our attitude toward God with our prayer requests: “I will leave it up to You.” The disciples saw that Jesus “often withdrew to lonely places” to pray (Luke 5:16), so they asked Him one day to teach them how to pray. He told them to ask for their daily needs, forgiveness, and the way out of temptation. Part of His response also suggested an attitude of surrender: “Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

We can pour out our needs to God because He wants to hear what’s on our hearts—and He delights to give. But being human and finite, we don’t always know what’s best, so it only makes sense to ask with a humble spirit, in submission to Him. We can leave the answer to Him, confident that He’s trustworthy and will choose to prepare what’s good for us.

By: Anne Cetas

Reflect & Pray

What do you want to share with God right now? What would it look like if you totally surrendered it to Him?

Thank You, God, for carrying me and my needs close to Your heart. I surrender my life and those I love to Your care.

 

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Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Enabled to Love

 

At the very first “show and tell” of my kindergarten career, I was faced with a moment of decision. Seated in a circle, one by one we offered our classmates our name and our favorite color. Within moments, it was clear there was an unwritten rule emerging around that circle. Without exception, all of the girls were declaring unanimously that “pink” and/or “purple” was their favorite. I was new to the idea of classmates and wanted these people beside me to be my friends. But I didn’t like either of these colors. Getting more and more anxious with each passing declaration, I decided to tell the truth. “Orange and green,” I avowed incompatibly only to be met with giggles from boys and girls alike. Somehow the embarrassing spectacle only sealed my affection for the obviously unloved, underdog colors.

So when I found the pitiable orange plastic day lilies in the tiny green velvet flowerpot that summer, I knew I had to buy them. My five-year-old eyes saw the beauty in the rejected knickknack, lost on a table full of junk, bearing a tag marked twenty-five cents at a garage sale. When I got them home, I dusted off the hard plastic petals, proudly wrapped a ribbon around the pot, and presented the find triumphantly as a gift to my dad.

Twenty years later, cleaning out the belongings of my father after he had passed away, I found the unsightly plastic flora still perched upon his desk. Looking at the tacky flowers, covered again with dust, still bearing the small ribbon, I recalled the joy of finding the orange treasure, the excitement in handing over twenty-five cents to claim it as my own, and the hard decision I made to give it away. Brushing my fingers over the green velvet pot, I recalled the pleased expression on my dad’s face as he placed it on his desk and told me he would keep it there always. And then I remembered a detail in adulthood that the eyes of the child overlooked: The quarter that purchased these flowers was his own.  

 

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Joyce Meyer – It’s Time to Stretch

 

For we walk by faith, not by sight. — 2 Corinthians 5:7

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

Stretch means “extended; exerted to the utmost.” When you follow God into something new in your life, you may feel stretched.

Perhaps you receive a job promotion, and you know you don’t have all the natural skills and knowledge you need to do the new job well. Then you become worried because you think you’re in over your head. The job may be over your head, but it’s not bigger than God. If He leads you into it, He will help you fulfill the responsibilities that go with it. God’s power and presence enable us to do things we can’t do on our own.

It’s important to remember God is on your side as you go into new situations, because fear and doubt will always be lying in wait to try to keep you from following Him. Don’t let those things hold you back. Remember that God is with you, and He’s bigger than any problem you may face. Don’t be afraid to stretch your faith because it will give you greater capacity to fulfill your God-given potential.

Prayer Starter: Father, help me to lean on You and walk forward with faith when I feel “over my head.” Help me to stretch and be all that I can be in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Living the Godly Life

 

“As God’s messenger I give each of you God’s warning: Be honest in your estimate of yourselves, measuring your value by how much faith God has given you” (Romans 12:3).

A newly appointed director of affairs for our ministry came to me for counsel after being given his assignment. “Tell me,” he inquired, “what are the biggest problems that I will encounter in my new area of responsibility?”

“Three major ones,” I responded. “First, pride, the problem that causes Satan to seek a place of authority over God Himself, resulting in his expulsion from the heavenly kingdom. Since creation, man’s greatest problem has been pride – thinking more highly of oneself than one ought to think.

“Your second problem will be materialism – the desire to accumulate wealth, to live the good life, to keep up with the Joneses with better houses, cars, clothes, and security.

“And the third problem will be sex, the temptation to immorality. Man’s second greatest drive after self-perservation is sex. In the marriage bond, sex is one of the most beautiful of the God-given privileges. But out of marriage, it results in grieving and quenching the Spirit and, ultimately, in the discipline of God. Therefore, be faithful to the wife that God has given you and love her as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25).

“Keep yourself humble by God’s power. Seek the simple life and be motivated and constrained by the love of God for the souls of men, rather than for the good things of this world.”

This is my counsel to all of our staff. It is my message to all Christian leaders and to all who seek to live godly lives.

The highways and byways of the world are littered with men and women of great talent and ability who are no longer being used of God. The fire has gone out of their hearts; the smile is gone from their faces. They harvest no fruit for the kingdom. They have fallen, thinking more highly of themselves than they ought to think, after the example of Satan, the author of pride.

God’s Word admonishes us to think soberly, wisely, prudently and modestly. The faith which we each have is a gift from God, measure by Him. That fact alone should produce in you and me a true, humility, changing any feeling of pride to one of gratitude. The truly humble person regards God as the source of all blessings.

Bible Reading: Ephesians 4:1-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: When the temptation comes to think more highly of myself than I ought to think, with God’s help I will remember that everything I have is a gift of His grace. I will humble myself before God and man and, by faith, live a supernatural, godly life, dedicated to the extension of His kingdom

 

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Max Lucado – Jesus’ Compelling Prayer Example

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Before amen—comes the power of a simple prayer!

Jesus set a compelling prayer example.  He prayed before He ate.  He prayed for children.  He prayed for the sick.  He prayed with thanks…and with tears.  He had made the planets and shaped the stars, yet He prayed.

Here’s a prayer for us today:

“Father, you’ve made me your child through your Spirit.

In your kindness you adopted me and delivered me from sin

and death.

Remind me today what it means to be your child.

It’s so easy for me to live every day on my own terms.

Help me live it in light of your grace.

Thank you for accepting me as I am but not leaving me the same.

In Jesus’ name, amen.”

This is my prayer challenge for 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 – The Mercury transit and Veterans Day: “The nation must be as loyal to them as they are to the nation”

 

The tiny planet Mercury will pass across the middle of the sun today.

However, you and I should not try to see the so-called Mercury transit by looking at it since looking directly at the sun can cause permanent eye damage. Plus, Mercury will be just a tiny dot on the sun. NASA therefore recommends using a telescope with a certified solar filter.

Or, for the vast majority of us who do not possess such instruments, we can watch on the Solar Dynamics Observatory’s website. Their equipment will directly view the Mercury transit, which we will then experience secondhand.

Let’s consider this story as a parable for one of the most important but overlooked days of the year.

Facts many Americans don’t know

Today, Americans honor the 19.6 million active and former members of our armed forces. Veterans Day is a federal holiday, which means that government offices are closed. So are most banks.

However, for much of American business, it’s business as usual. Many restaurants in the Dallas area are offering veterans free meals or discounts to express gratitude for their service. But most restaurants, stores, and businesses appear to be open. And I found only one school district in our region that is closed today.

Many Americans don’t know that, as the Department of Defense explains, today is “Veterans Day” rather than “Veteran’s Day” or “Veterans’ Day.” The day does not belong to one veteran or a group of veterans—it is intended to honor all veterans.

The Defense Department also notes that many confuse Veterans Day (honoring all who have served our country in war or peace, whether alive or dead) with Memorial Day (honoring those who died in defense of our country).

And in my experience, most Americans do not seem to know that a period of silence lasting two minutes is to be held at 11 a.m. each year on Veterans Day.

Astronomical amateurs

I don’t know anyone personally who disagrees with the importance of honoring our veterans. Why, then, is Veterans Day less understood and celebrated than would seem appropriate?

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