Charles Stanley –Jesus Calms the Storm

 

Matthew 8:23-27

We live in a fallen world filled with sin and all manner of evil, yet so often we put on rose-colored glasses and expect our life to be full of comfort, ease, and pleasure. And then when storms come upon us, bringing disruption, trouble, conflict, and heartache, we start wondering where the Lord is. After all, we are believers in Jesus Christ, and God is our loving heavenly Father. So why is He letting this happen?

The disciples would have preferred smooth sailing, too—across the Sea of Galilee. But in the storm, they saw Jesus in a new way. After He calmed the waves with His words, they asked in amazement, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” (Matt. 8:27). Through that storm, they recognized Jesus as almighty God, who has power even over the physical laws of the universe. His purpose was not to drown them but to show them His glory.

The same is true of us. Storms in our life are opportunities to see the Lord in a new light and in a magnified way. It’s in our extreme need that we begin to see we have too small a view of God. We must be careful not to reduce Him to a doting Father who winks at our sin and just wants us happy, healthy, and wealthy.

Perhaps you are going through a personal storm of some kind right now. If so, ask the Lord to open your eyes to a greater understanding of Him. Even if your circumstances don’t change, Jesus Christ is the Lord of peace, and He can comfort you.

Bible in One Year: Acts 18-20

 

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Our Daily Bread — Easily Entangled

 

Bible in a Year:

Throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.

Hebrews 12:1

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Hebrews 2:17–18; 12:1–2

Soldiers fighting in a sweltering jungle many years ago encountered a frustrating problem. Without warning, a pervasive prickly vine would attach itself to the soldiers’ bodies and gear, causing them to be trapped. As they struggled to get free, even more of the plant’s tentacles entangled them. The soldiers dubbed the weed the “wait-a-minute” vine because, once entwined and unable to move forward, they were forced to shout out to other members of their team, “Hey, wait a minute, I’m stuck!”

In a similar way, it’s hard for followers of Jesus to move forward when we’re ensnared by sin. Hebrews 12:1 tells us to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles” and “run with perseverance.” But how do we throw off the sin weighing us down?

Jesus is the only one who can free us from pervasive sin in our lives. May we learn to fix our eyes on Him, our Savior (12:2). Because the Son of God became “fully human in every way,” He knows what it’s like to be tempted—yet not sin (2:17–18; 4:15). Alone, we may be desperately entwined by our own sin, but God wants us to overcome temptation. It’s not through our own strength, but His, that we can “throw off” entangling sin and run after His righteousness (1 Corinthians 10:13).

By: Cindy Hess Kasper

Reflect & Pray

What sin or sins have a strong hold on you? What can you do to gain freedom from the struggle you’re experiencing?

Jesus, give me Your strength to overcome the sin in my life. Help me to trust in Your power rather than my own and lead me in the right path.

 

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Joyce Meyer – Receive Mercy

 

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. — Hebrews 4:16

Adapted from the resource My Time with God Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

God is full of mercy and loving-kindness! He is extending His mercy to you right now, but you must believe it and receive it in order for it to benefit you. When we sin, we don’t need to punish ourselves, because Jesus already took our punishment and now offers us His mercy. Amazing!

Mercy would not be mercy if it could be deserved, because it is said to be kindness that exceeds what could be expected. If you are suffering from guilt, shame, and condemnation, God is reaching out to you now and offering you mercy. Don’t turn away because you know you don’t deserve it. Receive it and let it make you fall more in love with Jesus than ever before.

We need mercy every day, and God has provided it because His Word says that His mercy is new every day and His faithfulness is great and abundant (see Lamentations 3:23). Our sin will never exceed God’s mercy because where sin abounds, grace abounds much more (see Romans 5:20).

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You very much for Your amazing mercy. Teach me how to receive not only mercy but also all of Your gracious benefits. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – His Great Love for Us

 

“But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8).

A dear friend and Christian leader from another country hated and resented his father, who was an alcoholic. Through the years, my friends had been humiliated and embarrassed by his father’s conduct. He wanted nothing to do with him.

As he grew more and more mature in his faith, and the Christlike qualities began to develop in his life, he began to realize that his attitude toward his father was wrong. He knew well that God’s Word commanded him to love and honor his mother and father, with no conditions.

Then he began to comprehend and experience the truth of loving by faith after a message which he had heard me give. As a result, he went to his father and, as an act of the will, by faith – because at that point he did not honestly feel like doing so – he expressed his love.

He was amazed to discover that his father had been hurt for years because he had sensed that his son despised and rejected him.

When the son began to demonstrate love for him – to assure him that he cared for him, whether he drank or did not drink – it prompted the father to commit his life to Christ and to trust Him to help him overcome the problem which had plagued him most of his life.

Through this new relationship with the Lord, my friend’s father became a new creature and was able to gain victory over the addiction to alcohol several years before he died – a dramatic example of the power of love.

Bible Reading: Romans 5:9-15

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Knowing Christ’s great love for me, I will claim His supernatural love for others today

 

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