Charles Stanley – The Truth About Self-Love

 

Galatians 5:13-26

In many places, the Bible says, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18; Matt. 19:19; Gal. 5:14), but we often overlook the “as yourself” part. We can’t fully love God or anyone else unless we love ourselves. This means realizing that we’re a child of God, created for fellowship with Him.

Everyone’s valuable to the Lord. But our self-worth is rooted in the fact that we have a relationship with God. We need to care for ourselves because He’s offered us salvation, given us the Holy Spirit, and developed a unique plan for our life.

Love of self is essential to God’s plan for every believer. He wants us to exercise proper care for ourselves, which helps us relate to Him. If we dislike ourselves, we may feel unworthy of God’s love and refuse to approach Him as Father. But love teaches us to see ourselves the way He sees us—as His beloved children, each with unique gifts and talents.

Whoever you are and whatever your circumstances may be, I can tell you something about yourself. God has a special plan for you. But He can’t set you on the path to achieving His goals for your life until you recognize your worth and learn to love the person He created you to be.

Bible in One Year: Numbers 17-19

 

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Our Daily Bread — When Life Is Hard

 

Bible in a Year:

  • Leviticus 15–16
  • Matthew 27:1–26

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”

Psalm 16:2

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Psalm 16

Physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted, I curled up in my recliner. Our family had followed God’s leading and had moved from California to Wisconsin. After we arrived, our car broke down and left us without a vehicle for two months. Meanwhile, my husband’s limited mobility after an unexpected back surgery and my chronic pain complicated our unpacking. We uncovered costly problems with our new-to-us, old home. Our senior dog suffered with health issues. And though our new pup brought great joy, raising a furry ball of energy was far more work than anticipated. My attitude soured. How was I supposed to have unshakable faith while traveling on a bumpy road of hardships?

As I prayed, God reminded me of the psalmist whose praise didn’t depend on circumstances. David poured out his emotions, often with great vulnerability, and sought refuge in the presence of God (Psalm 16:1). Acknowledging God as provider and protector (vv. 5–6), he praised Him and followed His counsel (v. 7). David affirmed that he would “not be shaken” because he kept his eyes “always on the Lord” (v. 8). So, he rejoiced and rested secure in the joy of God’s presence (vv. 9–11).

We too can delight in knowing our peace doesn’t depend on our present situation. As we thank our unchanging God for who He is and always will be, His presence will fuel our steadfast faith.

By: Xochitl Dixon

Reflect & Pray

How can offering God praise for His unchanging character and wondrous works increase your faith during challenging circumstances? What situations do you need to place in God’s trustworthy hands?

Thanks for being You, Father!

 

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Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Every Problem of Pain

“On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your pain today, Sir?”

Ironically, the question, a hospital’s attempt to understand and manage the pain of cancer patients, only seemed to cause my father more pain. He hated the daily inquiry that seized him almost as consistently as the sting of the growing tumor. It aggravated him deeply, more than I could say I understood. It was a philosophical quagmire for him that somehow mocked pain and amplified the problem of suffering. If he answered “10” in the midst of a painful morning, only to discover a greater quantity of pain in the afternoon, the scale was meaningless. The numbers were never constant, and what is a scale if its points of measurement cannot stand in relation to one another? If he answered “10” on any given day would that somehow control the ceiling of his own pain? He knew it would not, and that uncertainty seemed almost literally to add painful insult to an already fatal injury.

Considerations of pain and suffering are among the most cited explanations for disbelief in God, both for professionally trained philosophers and for the general public. If a good, powerful, and present deity exists, why is there so much pain and suffering in the world? Even for those who argue that the existence of God and the presence of evil can be reconciled, the vast amount of suffering in the world certainly compounds the dilemma. We can sympathize with Ivan Karamazov in his depiction of the earth as one soaked through with human tears. Imagine not merely one person measuring their pain on a scale of 1 to 10 but innumerable individuals: the temptation is to add all of these scales together as one giant proof against God.

In his 1940 book The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis warns us against espousing such a temptation. “We must never make the problem of pain worse than it is by vague talk about the ‘unimaginable sum of human misery,’” he writes. “Search all time and space and you will not find that composite pain in anyone’s consciousness. There is no such thing as a sum of suffering, for no one suffers it.”(1) Or, said in another way, there are as many problems of pain as there are conscious beings—and God must deal with each and every one of them.

For someone like my dad, for whom weighing pain was both disparaging and unfeasible, this would perhaps have been one comfort in a maddening abyss of darkness. It means his own problem of pain was not lost in a sea of meaningless scales and indescribable measurements. It means that his frustrating, inconsistent ceiling of sorrow was itself held in the arms of God—and not vaguely absorbed in an immeasurable sum, nor given a distant, theoretical answer. It means that God had to come near not simply to pain in general, but to him and his cancer in person.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Every Problem of Pain

Joyce Meyer – Cracked Pots

 

We possess this precious treasure [the divine Light of the Gospel] in [frail, human] vessels of earth, that the grandeur and exceeding greatness of the power may be shown to be from God and not from ourselves. — 2 Corinthians 4:7 (AMPC)

Adapted from the resource The Confident Women Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

God works through jars of clay, or what I often call “cracked pots.” This means we are flawed, so when people look at us and see amazing things happening, they know it must be God at work because it certainly could not be us.

I believe anyone who really knows me does not have any difficulty realizing the work I am doing on earth today certainly must be God at work in and through me. They give Him the glory, not me, because they see my imperfections and know my limitations. God chooses the weak and foolish things on purpose so no human can have reason to boast in His presence (1 Corinthians 1:27–29).

Imagine a pot with a lamp in it and a lid on it. Even though it may be filled with light, no one can see the light within it. Yet if the pot is cracked, the light will shine through the cracks. In the same way, God works through our imperfections.

Can you love a cracked pot? God can! It is godly to love yourself in a balanced, healthy way. It is ungodly to reject and despise yourself.

Prayer Starter: Father, You and I are both well aware of my imperfections. Please shine Your light through my life, and help me remember that You get every ounce of glory for it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Deliverance from Fears

 

“I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4, KJV).

Susie seemed outwardly to be a well-poised, lovely young wife and mother with everything under control. She was active in her church and attended other Christian gatherings during the week. But secretly she was filled with fear from which psychologists and psychiatrists with whom she consulted were unable to set her free.

She became very discouraged and depressed. “What can I do?” she asked through her tears. “I have everything to live for and no real reason to be afraid, but my days are consumed with worry and dread and fear, as I anticipate all kinds of evil things happening to me, to my husband , to my children.”

“Do you believe that God in heaven has the power to remove your fears, Susie?” I asked.

“Yes, of course,” she replied.

“Do you believe He loves you?”

“Yes, I believe that.”

“Do you believe He wants to remove that fear from you?” And I read her the above passage.

We turned together to 1 John 5:14, 15: “If we ask anything according to God’s will, He hears and answers.” This is the promise that every believer can claim whenever there is a command or another promise. I asked her if she would like to join with me in a prayer of faith that God would deliver her according to this promise.

Together we prayed, and though there was no immediate, dramatic deliverance, with the passing of days God set her free. Day after day she claimed by faith this and other promises from God’s holy, inspired Word.

Are you plagued with fears? Are your days consumed with worry? Saturate your mind with God’s truth — God’s supernatural promises – and begin to claim by faith this supernatural life which is your heritage in Christ.

Bible Reading: Psalm 34:1-7

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: At the first sign of a fear in my life, I will commit it to the Lord and trust Him for deliverance, and I will seek to help others whose hearts are filled with fear. I will seek to introduce them to the Prince of Peace – the God of all comfort.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – God’s Truth Defines All People

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Every person you see was created by God to bear his image and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.  Imagine the impact this promise would have on the society that embraced it.  What civility it would engender.  What kindness it would foster.  Racism will not flourish when people believe their neighbors bear God’s image.

Will society write off the indigent, the mentally ill, the inmate or the refugee?  Not if we believe, truly believe, that every human being is God’s idea.  And he has no bad ideas.  High IQ or low standing—doesn’t matter.  First string or cut from the squad—doesn’t matter.  You are a diamond, a rose, and a jewel, purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ.  And because God’s promises are unbreakable our hope is unshakable!

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Denison Forum – ‘Bachelor’ contestant makes her faith public: A Valentine’s Day call to courageous love

Madison Prewett is a contestant on The Bachelor. For those of us who don’t know how the show works (myself included until I did research for this article), a single bachelor meets a pool of eligible women. He then eliminates candidates, culminating in a marriage proposal to his final selection.

During the process, a one-on-one date with a candidate is a significant step forward for her. Thus, when Madison secured such a date with Peter Weber (this season’s bachelor) in last Monday’s show, she needed things to go well in order to stay in the competition.

This is what she told him: “Faith is more than just this passed-down thing to me, it’s literally my whole life and all of who I am. I want, in a marriage, someone who also has that relationship with the Lord and loves that about me and wants to raise a family in that way.”

Of course, ABC cut out her spiritual confession.

In the network’s preview for the next episode, Prewett also says she is saving sex for marriage. “If he sleeps with anybody else, it’s gonna be hard for me to continue to move forward,” she added.

Let’s hope Prewett keeps embracing her faith as the show continues.

Did Geoffrey Chaucer invent today’s holiday? 

Valentine’s Day, as everyone knows, is named for St. Valentine. Except we’re not sure which one.

Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni were both early Christians who died for their faith.  However, according to legend, St. Valentine of Rome signed a letter “from your Valentine” to his jailer’s daughter, whom he had befriended and healed from blindness. Another legend says he defied the emperor’s orders and secretly married couples to spare husbands from war.

Continue reading Denison Forum – ‘Bachelor’ contestant makes her faith public: A Valentine’s Day call to courageous love

Charles Stanley – Our Choices in the Midst of Tragedy

 

Job 1:6-22, Job 2:1-10

Imagine what it felt like to be in Job’s shoes. Warriors, fire, and wind wiped out his fortune and killed his children. Then, his body was so covered with boils that he scratched at the inflamed skin with broken pottery. Had Job not believed in the Lord’s faithfulness, he probably would have taken his wife’s advice to just “curse God and die” (Job 2:9).

Job was brought low, and he didn’t know why—nor did he ever find out the reason. Thanks to Scripture, we are privy to the conversation between God and Satan, but the Lord didn’t share those details with Job. Left in the dark, he had to decide if his faith in God’s goodness would stand.

Job decided to trust God in the midst of tragedy (Job 42:2). He could have railed against the Lord, as his wife suggested. Or he might have followed his friends’ advice and racked his brain for some unconfessed sin. But neither of those actions would have been fruitful. Instead, Job chose to view everything as part of the divine plan, acknowledging the Lord’s right to do whatever He wanted for the glory of His name (Job 1:21).

Accepting the good that God sends our way is easy. Our challenge is to receive tragedy with a willing attitude and a teachable spirit. Chance is not part of the equation—nothing comes into our life except through the Lord’s permission.

Bible in One Year: Numbers 14-16

 

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Our Daily Bread — Freed from Our Cage

 

Bible in a Year:

  • Leviticus 14
  • Matthew 26:51–75

[God] brought me out into a spacious place.

Psalm 18:19

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Psalm 18:3–6, 16–19

While out taking walks, writer Martin Laird would often encounter a man with four Kerry Blue Terriers. Three of the dogs ran wild through the open fields, but one stayed near its owner, running in tight circles. When Laird finally stopped and asked about this odd behavior, the owner explained that it was a rescue dog that had spent most of his life locked in a cage. The terrier continued to run in circles as though contained inside a confined box.

The Scriptures reveal that we’re trapped and hopeless unless God rescues us. The psalmist spoke of being afflicted by an enemy, entrapped by “the snares of death” with the “cords of death . . . coiled around” him (Psalm 18:4–5). Enclosed and shackled, he cried to God for help (v. 6). And with thundering power, He “reached down . . . and took hold” of him (v. 16).

God can do the same for us. He can break the chains and release us from our confining cages. He can set us free and carry us “out into a spacious place” (v. 19). How sad it is, then, when we keep running in small circles, as if we’re still confined in our old prisons. In His strength, may we no longer be bound by fear, shame, or oppression. God has rescued us from those cages of death. We can run free.

By: Winn Collier

Reflect & Pray

What are the cages that have you confined? How are you living as though an old cage still traps and holds you?

God, You say You set the captives free. Help me to believe it. Help me to live it. I want to be free. I want to be in Your spacious place.

 

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Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Why Isn’t God More Obvious?

Why is it that God does not seem to approach in a much more obvious way? One answer has been that God’s existence is not a matter of reality and facts. Isn’t it more of a faith position, anyway? Isn’t it more about a leap in the dark than an embrace of evidence?

I would agree that God isn’t “forcefully obvious,” but I don’t think that this confines God to being a “take-it-or-leave-it” matter of faith. I think it makes more sense to see God as clearly visible, whilst not being forcefully obvious.

Did you know that the Bible actually recognizes the validity of this question? First, we see passages that affirm the human perception that God seems hidden. In Job 23:8-9 we read, “But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.”

Interestingly, there are also many examples of God appearing as if veiled in darkness, whilst still simultaneously offering his presence.(1) For instance we read that, “The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.” Jesus, too, invites people to trust in him and then leaves and hides himself. In John we find the story of a paralytic man who is healed, but then Jesus slips away into the crowd. Luke records that as news about Jesus spread, “he often withdrew to lonely places.” Later, Jesus tells the disciples that, “Before long, the world will not see me any more, but you will see me.” Interestingly in many of these cases, God provides a clear sense of presence, while at the same time veiling the fullness of that presence.

So perhaps an unavoidable part of the Bible’s answer to why God seems hidden is because it’s true. But why? And what about those times when we need a present God most, when God could offer us real hope in times of suffering?

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Why Isn’t God More Obvious?

Joyce Meyer – Choose Inner Purity

 

The inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit . . . is very precious in the sight of God.— 1 Peter 3:4 (AMPC)

Adapted from the resource The Confident Women Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

How would you label your thoughts, attitudes, imaginations, opinions, and judgments? Are they clean or corrupt? Pure or carnal?

Inner purity is a challenge that requires you to pay attention to your inner life with determination and diligence. In the beginning, it may feel like most of your thoughts, imaginations, and attitudes are corrupt. But as you keep at it (with the Holy Spirit’s help), new habits will develop, and you’ll be able to enjoy inner purity.

What you do outwardly—the things that people see—determines your reputation with people, but your inner life determines your reputation with God.

Choosing inner purity is something you do to honor God. No wonder He says a pure heart is precious in His sight!

Prayer Starter: Father, please give me grace to pay close attention to my inner life, and to consistently choose pure, positive thoughts. Thank you for helping me to walk in greater levels of purity and closeness with You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Bears and He Gives

 

“What a glorious Lord! He who daily bears our burdens also gives us our salvation” (Psalm 68:19).

Did it ever occur to you that you are disobeying God when you carry your own burdens, when you are worried, frustrated and confused over circumstances? That is exactly what God’s Word says.

In 1 Peter 5:7, God gives a specific command to His children, “Cast…all your cares upon Him; for He careth for you” (KJV). Not to cast all of one’s cares upon the Lord is to disobey Him and to deny oneself that supernatural walk with God among men.

Is it not logical to believe that He who loved us so much that He was willing to give His only begotten Son would also be faithful to keep His promise to bear our burdens daily?

As the psalmist so aptly states, the Lord bears our burdens on a daily basis for the believer, the day will never come when God fails to carry our load, to strengthen us, to impart power to us through His indwelling Holy Spirit – if we but ask.

Marvel of marvels, the psalmist points out, our heavenly Father not only is our great burden-bearer; He is also the very one who gives us our salvation and the assurance of eternal life. How could anyone ask for more!

With the sure knowledge that our sins are forgiven (salvation) and the assurance that He knows all about every burden we face – more important, He bears them for us – our lives should reflect honor and glory to Him by the way in which we share His blessings and the message of His great love with others.

Provision for the supernatural life is promised in the Old Testament as well as the New, as evidenced by this glorious promise in the Psalms.

Bible Reading: Psalm 68:15-18

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today I will take careful inventory of my burdens and my worries and be sure that I am casting them all on the Lord with the certain knowledge that He cares for me. I will also encourage those around me to cast their cares upon the Lord.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – When It’s Time to Grow Up

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Children have a tendency to say, “Look at me!”  On the tricycle– “Look at me go!”  On the trampoline– “Look at me bounce!”  On the swing set– “Look at me swing!”  Such behavior is acceptable for children.  Yet many adults spend their grown-up years saying the same thing.  “Look at me drive this fancy car!”  “Look at me make money!”  “Look at me wear provocative clothes, or use big words, or flex my muscles.  Look at me!”

Isn’t it time we grew up?  We were made to live  a life that says, “Look at God!”  People are to look at us and see not us but the image of our Maker.  This is God’s plan.  2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “We…are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  Because God’s promises are unbreakable our hope is unshakable!

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Denison Forum – ‘The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake’: My response to an article of seismic significance

David Brooks is one of the best-known public intellectuals in America. A longtime columnist for the New York Times and a contributing writer at the Atlantic, he is also the author of several best-selling books. I have found him gracious and humble in person and have followed his writing with appreciation over the years.

However, I was more than surprised by the headline of his latest Atlantic essay: “The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake.” His article is receiving so much attention this week that I’ve chosen to summarize it and then respond to it biblically. Given the significance of this issue, today’s Daily Article is a little longer than usual.

From farms to factories 

Continue reading Denison Forum – ‘The Nuclear Family Was a Mistake’: My response to an article of seismic significance

Charles Stanley – Salvation Is From God

 

Ephesians 2:1-9

Do you ever doubt that you’re saved? Once we ask Jesus into our heart, we’re saved. He never leaves us. John 10:28 says that nothing can snatch us out of His hand, but sometimes we might still feel uncertain. Maybe we can’t remember the specific time and place of our decision to follow Him. Or perhaps we’ve messed up and sinned so badly that we wonder how He could forgive us. Let’s see what the Bible says about it.

God made us alive Together with Christ by raising Him from the dead (Eph. 2:4-5). We’re all born dead in our sins. There’s nothing we can do to make ourselves spiritually alive; our salvation is the result of God’s love and mercy. And once He makes us alive, we can never become spiritually dead again.

We’re saved by God’s grace, not by our goodness or performance. Ephesians 2:8-9 tell us, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works.” We didn’t do anything to deserve or earn God’s grace, yet He still chose to save us.

Our salvation isn’t because of our goodness or works, nor is it maintained by us. We’re saved simply through faith and should recognize that as God’s gift. As a result, we enjoy the blessings of belonging to His family, and one day we will know the full reality of being seated with Jesus in heaven (Eph. 2:6).

Bible in One Year: Numbers 11-13

 

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Our Daily Bread — The Miracle of White Snow

 

Bible in a Year:

  • Leviticus 13
  • Matthew 26:26–50

Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.

Isaiah 1:18

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Isaiah 1:15–20

In the seventeenth century, Sir Isaac Newton used a prism to study how light helps us see different colors. He found that when light passes through an object, the object appears to possess a specific color. While a single ice crystal looks translucent, snow is made up of many ice crystals smashed together. When light passes through all of the crystals, snow appears to be white.

The Bible mentions something else that has a certain color—sin. Through the prophet Isaiah, God confronted the sins of the people of Judah and described their sin as “like scarlet” and as “red as crimson.” But God promised they would “be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18). How? Judah needed to turn away from wrongdoing and seek God’s forgiveness.

Thanks to Jesus, we have permanent access to God’s forgiveness. Jesus called Himself “the light of the world” and said whoever follows Him “will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). When we confess our sins, God forgives us and we’re seen through the light of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. This means that God sees us as He sees Jesus—blameless.

We don’t have to wallow in the guilt and shame of what we’ve done wrong. Instead, we can hold on to the truth of God’s forgiveness, which makes us “white as snow.”

By: Linda Washington

Reflect & Pray

What does it mean to be completely forgiven? What helps you remember that God has forgiven you?

Heavenly Father, thank You for the forgiveness You freely offer.

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – God’s Two Poems

Typically, people think science and miracles are at odds. That’s what I once thought. But in fact, it’s only within the regularity of science that God can reveal Himself to us mirac­ulously. It is science that makes miracles possible. It’s only because scientifically virgins don’t get pregnant that God can reveal Him­self in a virgin birth. It’s only because scientifically people don’t rise from the dead that God can reveal Himself through a resurrection. And likewise, God can reveal Himself in each of our lives.

The more I talk with people, the more convinced I am that the experience of miracles is universal. I like asking people, even the most scientific of people, “Have you ever had an experience that made you think there might be a God?” Usually there is an awkward lull and then some nervous laughter, but, if you wait long enough, almost without fail the person will say, “Well, there was this one time when…” And then they will tell you a remarkable story that has God’s signature all over it!

Most of the people I speak to have amazing stories, but they’re worried that they are the only one. They’re worried that others will think they’re weird. They start to wonder if maybe it’s all just in their heads. We need to share our stories, and we need to invite others to share their stories as well.

Here’s a story of seeing God’s finely tuned design in an individual life. A student from China showed up at a university open forum where I was speaking. One of my colleagues, Daniel, greeted her, and she said her name was “Alva.” My colleague replied, “That’s an interesting name; what does it mean?” Alva responded, “It means ‘by grace washed white as snow.’”

Daniel’s eyes went wide, and he asked Alva if she was a Chris­tian. She said, “No, not at all.” Daniel said, “Do you realize that your name is basically the heart of the Christian message?” She had no idea; she had just chosen this for her English name because she liked the sound of it.

Daniel began to explain the Christian message to her, and she was increasingly being drawn to God. Then the talk started, and halfway through the talk I quoted and put up on a PowerPoint slide, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18). Daniel excitedly tapped the shoulder of Alva, who looked astonished and said, “I told you; that’s your name!”

At the end of the talk, Daniel and another of our colleagues con­tinued to explain to Alva the love that God has for her and the sacri­fice that God made for her. Alva decided she wanted to be a Christian, and my friends had the supreme privilege of praying with her to affirm that commitment.

There is one more detail to the story that fills me with awe. My talk for that night was already typed and printed before the week began, and the PowerPoint was done. But at lunchtime of that same day, my wife, Jo, and I had a distinct sense that something was miss­ing from the talk. So we rushed home after a lunchtime event, and we added just one additional handwritten page to the talk and just one additional PowerPoint slide.

What did that slide read? Isaiah 1:18: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” God beautifully crafted all the details of that day so Christ could reach out to that one young woman named Alva.

There are two things in the Bible that are spoken of as God’s poem. First, Romans 1:20: “For since the creation of the world God’s invis­ible qualities…have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.” The Greek word for “what has been made” is poiemasin, from which we get the word poem. God’s creation is the poem of God.

Second, there is Ephesians 2:8–10: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” For we are God’s “handi­work.” Another translation says we are God’s “masterpiece,” and this is the same word—poiema.

God not only designed the universe; God designed Alva and named her, and God has plans for her life as carefully fine-tuned as God’s plan for the cosmos. The same is true of each of us.

Vince Vitale is director of the Zacharias Institute at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Joyce Meyer – Simple Believing Prayer

 

And when you pray, do not heap up phrases (multiply words, repeating the same ones over and over) as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard for their much speaking. — Matthew 6:7 (AMPC)

Adapted from the resource The Confident Women Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

I was dissatisfied with my prayer life for many years. I was committed to praying every morning, but I always felt something was missing. I finally asked God what was wrong, and He responded in my heart by saying, “Joyce, you don’t feel that your prayers are good enough.” I wasn’t enjoying prayer because I had no confidence that my prayers were acceptable.

Too often we get caught up in our own works concerning prayer. Sometimes we try to pray so long, loud, or fancy that we lose sight of the fact that prayer is really just conversation with God. The length or loudness or eloquence of our prayer is not the issue. The only important elements to prayer are the sincerity of our hearts and a confidence that God hears and will answer us.

We can be confident that even if we simply say, “God help me,” He hears and will answer. We can depend on God to be faithful to do what we have asked Him to do as long as what we’re asking is in agreement with His will.

Prayer Starter: Father, please help me to pray in line with Your Word, and to let go of the pressure to pray perfectly. Thank You for loving me, and for hearing and answering my prayers! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Set Upon a Rock

 

“For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion: in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide me; He shall set me up upon a rock” (Psalm 27:5, KJV).

Doug and Judy stood at the graveside of their little Timothy – their only child – who had been run over by a drunken driver while riding his tricycle on the sidewalk. It was a senseless, one-in-a-million, freak kind of accident, but their little lad was gone forever from their loving embraces.

As they wept, I consoled them with the promises of God’s Word: “In the time of trouble, He shall hide us in His pavilion, in the secret of His tabernacle shall He hide us. He shall set us upon a rock.”

In the words of Jesus, I shared with them His promise, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, KJV). “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27, KJV).

Man’s words are never adequate in a time like this. Only the holy, inspired Word of God, revealed through the indwelling Holy Spirit, can help us to comprehend and experience the reality of His promises.

What a joy to be able to tell people – burdened people, grieving people – that we serve God, who not only saves to the uttermost, but who also is the God of all comfort. As His Holy Spirit empowers us, let us share the good news of an all-loving, ever-wise Savior.

Bible Reading: Psalm 27:1-4

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Today I will ask God to help me to be sensitive to the hurts and heartaches of others, so that I can comfort them with the Word of God through the enabling of the Holy Spirit. And when I face grievous troubles, I too will look to the rock, Christ Jesus, and claim His wonderful promises for comfort and strength.

 

 

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Max Lucado – You Are Worth Dying For

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Has someone called you a lost cause?  A failure?  Has someone dismissed you as insignificant?  Don’t listen to them.  They don’t know what they’re talking about.  You were conceived by God before you were conceived by your parents.  You were loved in heaven before you were known on earth.  You aren’t an accident.

When you say yes to God you are being made into God’s image.  Print that on your resume!  In the eyes of God you are worth dying for.  Would you let this truth define the way you see yourself?  Would you let this truth define the way you see other people?  Every person you see was created by God to bear his image and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.  This is God’s plan.  This is God’s promise.  And he will fulfill it!  And because God’s promises are unbreakable our hope is unshakable!

Read more Unshakable Hope

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

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