Charles Stanley –Sharing Our Hope

 

1 Peter 3:13-18

For believers in Jesus Christ, the condition of lost humanity ought to be both sobering and motivating. Ephesians 2:12 says we were “separate from Christ … having no hope and without God in the world.” Is there anything worse than this? But apart from a relationship with God through His Son, there is no eternal hope.

Jesus Christ came into the world to take the punishment for sin and die the death that we deserved. In so doing, He satisfied God’s demands for justice, thereby removing the guilt and condemnation of everyone who believes in Him as Savior and Lord. The result is that those who were formerly “far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Eph. 2:13).

Now we who have received this hope are called to share it with others. But people cannot know that Jesus is the only hope unless they learn about Him from us. As Peter points out, this assignment may not always be easy because some people are hostile to our message. Yet we are called to “give an account for the hope” that is in us “with gentleness and reverence” (1 Pet. 3:15).

Our witness for Jesus Christ should be evident in both our words and actions. As the Holy Spirit begins the work of renewing our mind with the Word of God, our attitudes and behavior become increasingly Christlike. And that is a powerful witness to a world without hope. Christ offers a transformed life now and the promise of eternal life for all who will come to Him in repentance and faith. So let’s share our hope!

Bible in One Year: Acts 16-17

 

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Our Daily Bread — Dad, Where Are You?

 

Bible in a Year:

The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Deuteronomy 31:8

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Deuteronomy 31:1–8

“Dad! Where are you?”

I was pulling into our driveway when my daughter, panicking, called me on my cell phone. I’d needed to be home by 6:00 to get her to play practice; I was on time. My daughter’s voice, however, betrayed her lack of trust. Reflexively, I responded: “I’m here. Why don’t you trust me?”

But as I spoke those words, I wondered, How often could my heavenly Father ask that of me? In stressful moments, I too am impatient. I too struggle to trust, to believe God will keep His promises. So I cry out: “Father, where are you?”

Amid stress and uncertainty, I sometimes doubt God’s presence, or even His goodness and purposes for me. The Israelites did too. In Deuteronomy 31, they were preparing to enter the Promised Land, knowing their leader, Moses, would stay behind. Moses sought to reassure God’s people by reminding them, “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (v. 8).

That promise—that God is always with us—remains a cornerstone of our faith today (see Matthew 1:23; Hebrews 13:5). Indeed, Revelation 21:3 culminates with these words: “God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them.”

Where is God? He’s right here, right now, right with us—always ready to hear our prayers.

By: Adam Holz

Reflect & Pray

What Scripture brings to mind the truth of God’s presence? Place it somewhere easily visible to remind you.

Father, help us to see how much You love us!

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Streams in the Desert for Kids – No Stress

 

2 Corinthians 1:8–9

Today we call pressure stress. You hear many people talking about stress. Stress can be bad if all we do is worry. It can be good if it pushes us toward the only One who has answers for our stress—God our Father.

Once a stressful situation has passed, you come out of it with the ability to help other people. Think about the last time you had to study for a hard test. You probably felt pressure until you finished the test. But now when a friend talks about being stressed out about an exam, you know exactly how he or she feels.

Or do you remember a time when your mom got really sick or your dad traveled away for several weeks? Was it stressful for the rest of your family? But when the sickness or travel was over, you were relieved. Now, you can be understanding when others face a similar situation.

The most important thing to remember is that any time you face pressure, turn to God first. If you learn to rely on him, you will experience his peace and the stress won’t be as overwhelming. Then you will have a truly helpful answer to offer others—God’s strength.

Dear Lord, Everybody talks about being “stressed out.” I’m so glad you are the answer to all stressful situations. Amen.

Joyce Meyer – Take Care of Your Body

 

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own — 1 Corinthians 6:19

Adapted from the resource Love Out Loud Devotional

I want to ask you today the same question Paul asked the believers in Corinth centuries ago: Do you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit? You are the home of God! Are you loving yourself, God, and others by caring for your physical body, treating it well, and using it for God’s purposes?

Some Christians focus Only on the spiritual Side of life, and they fail to properly care for their bodies. Other people have such low self esteem or a shame based nature that they don’t feel their bodies are worth caring for. But God’s plan for us involves maintaining spiritual, emotional, and physical health. He wants us strong in every way! He wants us to feel good physically so we can serve Him and others, and be able to enjoy the life He has provided for us.

No matter what shape you are in physically, it’s never too late to improve and do some repair or maintenance on your temple. You can start by learning the basic principles of good nutrition, drink lots of water, employ stress management, exercise, and rest. Laughter is also important. It has been scientifically proven to improve your health. It’s amazing how much better you can feel if you will begin to make positive changes in these areas. Give it a try; I promise, you’ll be glad you did.

Prayer Starter: Father, I ask for Your grace to take practical steps toward good physical health. Help me to treat my body with respect so I can serve you to the best of my ability. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Gives the Victory

 

“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57, KJV).

In our busy lives, yours and mine, there are days when victory seems an impossibility. Heartaches, trials, burdens, or just the ordinary cares of the day, all seem foreign to the idea of being victorious.

And yet the fact remains that we are “more than conquerors” even when we do not feel like it. God graciously allows His children to be human and to express our doubts and fears when suffering and pain and testing and trial seem to overwhelm us.

“I have to be very honest,” confessed Joyce Landorf, well-known Christian author and speaker, during a long period of illness. “One of the things I have learned from severe pain is that I have felt totally abandoned by God. I didn’t think he’d let that happen to me, but He has.

“And maybe the feeling of abandonment when pain is at its writhing best..maybe that’s what makes it so sweet after the pain goes and the Lord says, ‘I was here all the time. I haven’t left you. I will never forsake you.’ Now those words get sweeter to me because I know what it has felt like to not feel His presence.”

We do not have all the answers, but we know one who does. And that is where our victory begins – acknowledging (1) that God is a God of love, one who never makes a mistake, and (2) he will never leave us or forsake us.

Bible Reading: Romans 7:18-25

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will consider myself a victor, whatever may transpire, because I serve the victorious one

 

http://www.cru.org