Charles Stanley – Fueling a Passion for Jesus

 

2 Peter 1:1-4

Studying the Bible and praying are the first steps to developing a passion for Christ. We need to understand His ways and promises before we can fall deeply in love with Him.

Like any loving relationship, intimacy with Jesus requires that we spend time with Him—worshipping and listening to Him, not just working through a list of to-dos. In order to achieve a true friendship with Him, we must talk with Christ as with a friend and listen to Him speak to us.

We should also look for evidence of the Lord’s work in everyday circumstances. He promises to give us direction and provide for us (2 Peter 1:3). If we’re on the lookout, we will see His promises in action. Sometimes a situation might seem too tragic to yield good, but if we continue to pray, study Scripture, and be patient, God will reveal His plan to us.

Consider keeping a journal to record Jesus’ work in your life—then, when your faith falters or you’re in a difficult situation, you can look back at His past faithfulness to you. A passion for Jesus doesn’t happen instantly. It’s a daily, lifelong pursuit, and we must lay aside everything that competes with our devotion to Him.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 26-27

 

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Our Daily Bread — Does What We Do Matter?

 

Bible in a Year:

  • Leviticus 1–3
  • Matthew 24:1–28

Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31

Today’s Scripture & Insight: Colossians 3:12–17

I dropped my forehead to my hand with a sigh, “I don’t know how I’m going to get it all done.” My friend’s voice crackled through the phone: “You have to give yourself some credit. You’re doing a lot.” He then listed the things I was trying to do—maintain a healthy lifestyle, work, do well in graduate school, write, and attend a Bible study. I wanted to do all these things for God, but instead I was more focused on what I was doing than how I was doing it—or that perhaps I was trying to do too much.

Paul reminded the church in Colossae that they were to live in a way that glorified God. Ultimately, what they specifically did on a day-to-day basis was not as important as how they did it. They were to do their work with “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12), to be forgiving, and above all to love (vv. 13–14) and to “do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (v. 17). Their work wasn’t to be separated from Christlike living.

What we do matters, but how we do it, why, and who we do it for matters more. Each day we can choose to work in a stressed-out way or in a way that honors God and seeks out the meaning Jesus adds to our work. When we pursue the latter, we find satisfaction.

By: Julie Schwab

Reflect & Pray

In what ways do you do things out of need or obligation rather than for God’s glory? How do you think meaning is found in Christ rather than accomplishments?

Jesus, forgive me for the times I stress over what I’m trying to accomplish. Help me to instead seek to accomplish things for Your glory.

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – The Apologist’s First Question

I have little doubt that the single greatest obstacle to the impact of the Gospel has not been its inability to provide answers, but the failure on the part of Christians to live it out. I remember well in the early days of my Christian faith talking to a close Hindu friend. He was questioning the experience of conversion as being supernatural. He absolutely insisted that conversion was nothing more than a decision to lead a more ethical life and that, in most cases, it was not any different from other ethical religions. I had heard his argument before.

But then he said something I have never forgotten: “If this conversion is truly supernatural, why is it not more evident in the lives of so many Christians I know?” His question is a troublesome one. In fact, it is so deeply disturbing a question that I think of all the challenges to belief, this is the most difficult question of all. I have never struggled with my own personal faith as far as intellectual challenges to the Gospel are concerned. But I have often had struggles of the soul in trying to figure out why the Christian faith is not more visible.

After lecturing at a major American university, I was driven to the airport by the organizer of the event. I was quite jolted by what he told me. He said, “My wife brought our neighbor last night. She is a medical doctor and had not been to anything like this before. On their way home, my wife asked her what she thought of it all.” He paused and then continued, “Do you know what she said?” Rather reluctantly, I shook my head. “She said, ‘That was a very powerful evening. The arguments were very persuasive. I wonder what he is like in his private life.’”

Because my Hindu friend had not witnessed spiritual transformation in the life of Christians, whatever answers he received were nullified. In the doctor’s case, the answers were intellectually and existentially satisfying, but she still needed to know, did they really make a difference in the life of the one proclaiming them? The Irish evangelist Gypsy Smith once said, “There are five Gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the Christian, and some people will never read the first four.” In other words, the message is seen before it is heard. For both the Hindu questioner and the American doctor, the answers to their questions were not enough; they depended upon the visible transformation of the one offering them.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – The Apologist’s First Question

Joyce Meyer – Get Along with Others

 

But the meek [in the end] shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. — Psalm 37:11 (AMPC)

Adapted from the resource Starting Your Day Right – by Joyce Meyer

Guess what: we can learn to get along with people! Even though it gets really hard sometimes, with God’s help, it is possible. It’s especially important to learn to get along with our immediate family members and co-workers, because they’re the ones we do life with day in and day out. There are many informative books about personality differences to help us understand why people feel and act the way they do. Understanding can do so much to help smooth out strained relationships.

People make decisions differently. Some give an immediate answer, while others want time to think about things. Try to understand the people you see today. Ask God to show you ways to get along with them better. As you trust Him, He’ll guide your steps and give you favor with the people around you.

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for being there for me as I navigate relationships. Please show me how I can understand and love others better. Help me to do what’s right in each situation, and then trust You with the outcome. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Refuge for the Oppressed

 

“All who are oppressed may come to Him. He is a refuge for them in their time of trouble” (Psalm 9:9).

The late evangelist Henry Moorehouse once faced a disturbing dilemma. His little paralyzed daughter greeted him as he entered the house bearing a package for his wife.

“Where is Mother?” he asked, after kissing and embracing his daughter.

“Mother is upstairs,” the girl responded.

“Well,” Moorehouse said, “I have a package for her.”

“Oh,” the girl pleaded, “let me carry the package to Mother.”

“Why, Minnie dear,” her father replied, “how can you carry the package? You can’t carry yourself.”

With a smile, the girl continued, “That is true, Papa. But you can give me the package, and I will carry the package – and you will carry me.”

Taking her up in his arms, Moorehouse carried his daughter upstairs – little Minnie and the package, too. Then he saw his own position before the Lord; he had been carrying a heavy burden in recent days, but was not God carrying Him?

In similar fashion, you and I often feel the weight of heavy burdens – sometimes forgetting that even as we carry them we are being carried by our heavenly Father, who is a “refuge for them in their time of trouble.”

Bible Reading: Psalm 9:10-14

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: As I carry my burdens today – large or small – I will recognize that my heavenly Father is carrying me, and I will pass this wonderful truth on to others who are weighted down with the loads and cares of daily living.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Made in God’s Image

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

We all ask the question, “Am I somebody important?”  It’s easy to feel anything but important when your ex takes your energy, or old age takes your dignity.  Somebody important?  Hardly. But remember this promise of God:  you were created by God, in God’s image, for God’s glory.

God spoke, “Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature, so they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth” (Genesis 1:26 MSG).

God never declared, “Let us make oceans in our image,” or “birds in our likeness.”  The heavens above reflect the glory of God, but they are not made in the image of God.  Yet you are!  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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Denison Forum – ‘I am Spartacus!’: The death of Kirk Douglas and three steps to national healing

Kirk Douglas died Wednesday at the age of 103. He was born Issur Danielovitch on December 9, 1916, in Amsterdam, New York. He changed his name to Kirk Douglas before entering the US Navy during World War II.

He was the only son of seven children born to illiterate Russian immigrants. In his autobiography, he reported that his father was a “ragman,” trading in old rags, pieces of metal, and other junk. As a child, Douglas sold snacks to mill workers and had more than forty jobs in his youth. As a young adult, he once spent the night in jail because he had no place to sleep.

He recited the poem “The Red Robin of Spring” in kindergarten and received applause, an experience that caused him to aspire to become an actor. After graduating from college and studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City, he joined the Navy in 1941 and was medically discharged three years later for war injuries.

He then returned to New York City, where he found work in radio, theater, and commercials. He became one of America’s biggest box-office stars in the 1950s and ’60s, eventually appearing in more than ninety movies. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981, an honorary Academy Award in 1996, and the National Medal of Arts in 2002.

Douglas and his wife of sixty-five years donated multiplied millions of dollars to various schools and up to $55 million to an Alzheimer’s treatment facility in California. After a near-fatal helicopter crash in 1991 that took the lives of two other men, he returned to the Judaism of his roots and even celebrated a second Bar-Mitzvah in 1999 at the age of eighty-three.

President Trump and Speaker Pelosi were together again 

Media attention has been focused on Douglas, the growing coronavirus epidemic, and the continued controversy surrounding the Iowa caucuses. Meanwhile, a less-reported event was held yesterday in Washington, DC, that deserves our attention today.

Continue reading Denison Forum – ‘I am Spartacus!’: The death of Kirk Douglas and three steps to national healing

Charles Stanley – A Passion to Know Christ

 

Philippians 3:3-12

Claiming to know someone usually means we know facts about the person or simply are aware he or she exists. Unfortunately, that is how too many Christians “know” Jesus Christ—they’re aware He is the world’s Savior, who died in our place and rose again to sit at the Father’s right hand. Those are the facts, but simply collecting data won’t bring lasting satisfaction. Instead, ask, Who is this Jesus, and why did He willingly give up His life? The search for answers begins a journey to intimacy and true knowledge of Him.

By recognizing Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are blessed with redemption and a spiritual relationship. But though we have gained heaven, it is possible to miss the treasure of experiencing Christ as our Lord and friend. Few people will dig deep enough into Scripture and spend the time in prayer to claim Him as their life—as the One who makes us complete. The apostle Paul was so intimately acquainted with God that he viewed his own history and experiences as negligible when compared with knowing Jesus (Phil. 3:7).

If you want to thirst for Jesus as Paul did, Scripture and your experience with the Lord can fuel your passion. Start by opening the Word and drinking Him in.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 24-25

 

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