Charles Stanley – A Training Course in Obedience

 

Luke 5:1-11

In today’s passage, Peter’s initial interaction with Christ seems unimportant. We assume Jesus asked Peter for the use of his boat, which meant that the weary fisherman put aside his cleanup duties in order to steer the craft for an itinerant preacher. It was a small decision, but Peter ended up with a front-row seat for a miraculous display of Jesus’ power that day.

Then, Peter obeyed Jesus’ second request —to let down the nets for a catch—even though doing so contradicted his expertise in fishing. The results were incredible: a catch so great that a second boat had to come and take part of the haul.

Though Peter probably considered both of these decisions fairly insignificant, Jesus found them telling. He was preparing the disciple and teaching him to follow. It’s often obedience in the small details that prepares the believer for obedience in all things. What Peter did with regard to the boat and net eventually convinced him that giving up everything to follow Christ was the wisest choice.

This is how God teaches us to follow His will, too. Our decisions can set us on a course to fulfill God’s good purpose for our life and His kingdom—if we choose to heed His voice.

Bible in One Year: 2 Samuel 1-3

 

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Our Deepest Longings

 

Bible in a Year:

Whoever loves wealth is never satisfied.

Ecclesiastes 5:10

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Ecclesiastes 5:10–12

As a young man, Duncan had been afraid of not having enough money, so in his early twenties, he began ambitiously building his future. Climbing the ladder at a prestigious Silicon Valley company, Duncan achieved vast wealth. He had a bulging bank account, a luxury sports car, and a million-dollar California home. He had everything he desired; yet he was profoundly unhappy. “I felt anxious and dissatisfied,” Duncan said. “In fact, wealth can actually make life worse.” Piles of cash didn’t provide friendship, community, or joy—and often brought him only more heartache.

Some people will expend immense energy attempting to amass wealth in an effort to secure their lives. It’s a fool’s game. “Whoever loves money never has enough,” Scripture insists (Ecclesiastes 5:10). Some will work themselves to the bone. They’ll strive and push, comparing their possessions with others and straining to achieve some economic status. And yet even if they gain supposed financial freedom, they’ll still be unsatisfied. It’s not enough. As the writer of Ecclesiastes states, “This too is meaningless” (v. 10).

The truth is, striving to find fulfillment apart from God will prove futile. While Scripture calls us to work hard and use our gifts for the good of the world, we can never accumulate enough to satisfy our deepest longings. Jesus alone offers a real and satisfying life (John 10:10)—one based on a loving relationship that’s truly enough!

By:  Winn Collier

Reflect & Pray

What brings you true satisfaction and fulfillment? How can you more fully live out the fact that only God is enough?

Gracious God, allow me to find my true fulfillment and joy in You. Keep me from a wrong view of work and material things.

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Joyce Meyer – This Too Shall Pass

 

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. — 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NIV)

Sometimes, when we’re going through a difficult season, we don’t think we can make it through. But God promises us in His Word that He will never allow more to come on us than we can bear as we rely on Him (see 1 Corinthians 10:13).

Second Corinthians 2:9 says that His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses. This means when we go through hard times, God wants to show Himself strong through us.

In our family, when difficult things are happening, we like to say, “This too shall pass.” It’s an important reminder that it won’t last forever.

The truth is, getting upset about our problems never changes them. However, I’ve learned that choosing to adopt a positive attitude can make a difference. When bad things happen or we’re uncertain about the future, it can be even tougher to think and say things that are positive. But it’s helpful to remember that things will change…a new season is right around the corner.

When I am in the midst of a difficult time, I choose to dwell on passages like Romans 8:35-39. I remind myself that God loves meno matter how difficult life is at the moment. I focus my thoughts on His strength and ability to pull me through any situation. As I do, I can sense faith rising up inside of me.

During tough times, it’s easy to think, I can’t do this—it’s just too hard. Watch for that type of thinking. Then, when you recognize it, replace it with a God-inspired thought like:

I can do whatever I need to do because God is with me. This too shall pass. (See Philippians 4:13; Psalm 16:8.)

Pray: “God, thank You for the strength to make it through this season. I know You are with me and it won’t last forever. Help me to choose faith-filled thoughts and attitudes that will bring peace to the situation and remind me that You have good things in store for the future. In Jesus’ Name, amen.”

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Gift of His Spirit

 

“This is what God has prepared for us and, as a guarantee, He has given us His Holy Spirit” (2 Corinthians 5:5).

A dynamic young business man sat across from me in my office. By almost every standard of human measure he was an outstanding success in both his business and his religion.

He was one of the leading men in his field of specialty in the world. A highly moral, religious person, he was very active in his church. And yet, he was not sure that he was a Christian.

He wanted desperately – more than anything else in the world – to have real assurance, but he did not know how to go about obtaining it. Step by step, I explained to him from the Bible how he could receive Christ into his life and be sure of his salvation.

Soon we were on our knees in prayer, after which he went on his way rejoicing in the assurance of his salvation to begin a supernatural walk with God.

Many pastors and other Christian leaders, I have discovered, also have this same gnawing doubt about their salvation. One pastor who had preached the Bible-centered gospel for 40 years told me that he was still unsure of his salvation.

The wife of an evangelist confided, “During the past 30 years, my husband and I have introduced thousands of people to Christ, but I have never been sure of my own salvation. Never before have I had the courage to share this concern with anyone, but now I am so desperate that I have come to seek your help.”

I explained that we receive Christ as our Savior by faith or on act of the will; then, as a guarantee, He gives us His Holy Spirit.

Bible Reading: II Corinthians 5:6-10

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  With God’s Holy Spirit as my constant witness, I will daily give thanks to Him for assurance of my salvation.

http://www.cru.org

Streams in the Desert for Kids – You Are Worth More than Flowers

 

Matthew 6:30–33, The Message

Have you ever wandered deep into the woods and found a beautiful flower blooming there? Ever wondered who, besides you, will ever see that beautiful flower? Jesus talked about that. He said that God gives a flower so much beauty and detail and then he may put it in a place where no one ever sees it. Why? It is because God makes everything perfect whether or not anyone notices. Everything he makes has a purpose. You have a purpose. And he didn’t make any mistakes when he made you. Even if you sometimes feel like you are hidden in the woods where no one notices you, God has a purpose for your life.

Because you are his child, God will take care of all your needs. Jesus told the people of his time to stop worrying about everything. He told them that God knew they needed certain things to live. He said that if God dressed the flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, God will certainly take care of his children—that includes you—who are much more important to him than flowers.

If you can understand that God loves you and wants to take care of you, life will be a lot easier. God knows what you need. God knows what your family needs. Count on the fact that God knows, and trust him.

Dear Lord, I know you love me and that you care about my needs. Help me to trust you to take care of me and my family. Amen.