Charles Stanley –Clinging to God’s Promises

 

Luke 24:13-49

The Bible is a gold mine of promises for believers. During any season, but especially in hard times, God’s promises provide an anchor for our soul. They give us hope and enable us to be courageous and bold when facing challenges.

But many individuals do not rely on God’s assurances. There are two reasons for this. First, some people are unaware of His promises. Second, others simply do not believe them to be true. A lot of believers can quote Scripture, but when they face a daunting trial—like a job loss or frightening diagnosis—their confidence wavers and doubt prevails.

If we are unaware of all that Scripture promises, we can’t make ourselves believe. But the more we learn and pray and talk with God, the stronger our faith grows, and this is a gift from almighty God. Luke 24 documents two times that people came face to face with Jesus Christ but failed to recognize Him. He had to open their spiritual eyes before they could truly see. The same is true of us: Faith is impossible without the Holy Spirit.

Jesus gives believers assurance of protection, hope, eternal security, counsel, and guidance in the Scriptures. Do you trust Him?

As you read Scripture, ask the Holy Spirit to point out applicable promises for your life. Study, memorize, meditate on, and claim these truths. Then, when trials arise, you’ll have an anchor to keep you steady. Divine promises won’t necessarily take away the pain of difficult circumstances, but the God who has promised to be with you can be trusted to do all He says He’ll do.

Bible in One Year: 1 Corinthians 11-13

 

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Our Daily Bread — Carefully Crafted

 

Bible in a Year:

  • Ezekiel 37–39
  • 2 Peter 2

Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people.

Ephesians 4:11–12

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Ephesians 4:11–14

In a YouTube video, Alan Glustoff, a cheese farmer in Goshen, New York, described his process for aging cheese, a process that adds to a cheese’s flavor and texture. Before it can be sent out to a market, each block of cheese remains on a shelf in an underground cave for six to twelve months. In this humid environment the cheese is carefully tended. “We do our best to give it the right environment to thrive . . . [and] to develop to its truest potential,” Glustoff explained.

Glustoff’s passion for developing the potential of the cheese he produces reminded me of God’s passion for developing the “truest potential” of His children so they will become fruitful and mature. In Ephesians 4, the apostle Paul describes the people involved in this process: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers (v. 11). People with these gifts help to stimulate the growth of each believer as well as to encourage acts of service (the “works” mentioned in verse 12). The goal is that we “become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (v. 13).

Spiritual growth comes about through the power of the Holy Spirit as we submit to His maturing process. As we follow the guidance of the people He places in our lives, we become more effective as He sends us out to serve.

By: Linda Washington

Reflect & Pray

Who has been most influential to your spiritual growth? In what ways have you been challenged to grow? How can you encourage the growth of someone else?

Loving God, I’m grateful for the tender way You help me to grow.

 

http://www.odb.org

Joyce Meyer – Let Your Mess Become Your Message

 

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. — 2 Corinthians 3:18

Adapted from the resource New Day, New You Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

I encourage people to let go of their past, but never to run from it. The only way to gain victory over the pain of our past is to let God walk us back through that doorway of pain and into victory. No one can achieve victory for us; we have to work out our own salvation. Paul explained this truth in his letter to the Philippian church, saying:

Therefore, my dear ones . . . work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ). [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight (Philippians 2:12-13 AMPC.)

We have to let God take us through things and let Him work in us so our mess becomes our message. Difficult things that we have endured in our past prepare us for God’s blessings in our future.

Prayer Starter: Father, You are the only One Who can take what I’ve been through and work it out for my good. Help me to continually draw closer to You and deal with the painful areas of my life that You want to heal. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Peace and Joy

 

“Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice! Let everyone see that you are unselfish and considerate in all you do. Remember that the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank Him for His answers. If you do this you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4-7).

Don and Ann wanted with all their hearts to please the Lord and worked at being victorious Christians. They diligently kept their quiet time and memorized Scripture, and they were faithful in church attendance. They did everything right. But as they said, “Even though we’ve claimed the fullness of the Holy Spirit by faith and tried to understand and apply identification truths [in which they sought to identify themselves with Christ, his crucifixion, burial and resurrection,] we just don’t seem to be enjoying the Christian life. There’s something missing.”

“In Philippians 4,” I told them, “you will find a surefire spiritual formula for victory in the Christian life. Just allow the Holy Spirit to make this passage a reality to you and apply the following as He enables you:

As an act of your will, decide that you’re going to be full of the joy of the Lord. You are the one who decides whether you’re going to rejoice or be discouraged and sad. Demonstrate before all men an unselfish, considerate attitude. Remember that the Lord can come at any moment, and be prepared.

Do not worry about anything.
Pray about everything.
Thank Him in faith for His answers.”

The results of practicing these steps is the most priceless and wonderful experience one can know, the supernatural peace of God that cannot be purchased or acquired in any other way. In order to succeed in this formula for supernatural living, of course, you must already be studying the Word of God, applying its truths to your life daily, living in the power of the Holy Spirit and sharing your faith in Christ with others.

Bible Reading: Isaiah 12:1-5

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today, as an act of my will, I shall claim the supernatural resources of God by faith and continue to experience and share the abundant life which is the heritage of all who trust and obey Him

 

http://www.cru.org