Charles Stanley – Two Possible Resurrections

 

John 5:19-29

Death is certain for everyone (except believers who are alive when Christ returns). The end of our earthly life may seem far away or, for some, right around the corner, but it’s always lurking, and we never know when it will come. This may seem like a morbid thought, but the truth is, death doesn’t end our existence. Contrary to the false belief that life ceases when we die, Jesus said there will be a resurrection of all people—some to judgment and others to eternal life.

Here’s the important question: Which resurrection will you experience? Since everyone is sinful, we all deserve to face the resurrection to judgment. However, Jesus promised that those who believe in Him have eternal life and will not be judged for sin (John 5:24). On the cross, Christ bore our judgment for us and rose again to give us new life. But those who reject the sacrifice He made on their behalf will be judged for their own sins.

Although physical death is still a reality for believers and our bodies will be laid in the grave, our spirits will never die. When Christ returns, our souls will be reunited with glorious resurrection bodies, to live forever with Him.

Bible in One Year: 2 Samuel 20-22

 

 

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Our Daily Bread — Feed My Sheep

 

Bible in a Year:

Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

John 21:16

Today’s Scripture & Insight:John 21:15–19

In a lecture in 1911, Oswald Chambers reflected on being a young shepherd in the highlands of Scotland: “When you have to carry across your shoulders a dirty old [goat] and bring it down the mountain-side, you will soon know whether shepherding is poetry or not.” He didn’t want to romanticize this form of labor as “poetry” but rather called it “the most taxing, the most exhausting, and the most exasperating work.” The hard work of shepherding people is what Jesus entrusted to Peter, for Peter would face criticism, misunderstanding, and other challenges in caring for His flock.

Chambers reflected, “To whom did He say, ‘Feed My lambs’? To Peter. Who was Peter? A very wayward sheep.” Even though Peter had denied knowing Jesus (see John 18:15–27), Jesus met him on the beach and lovingly restored him in front of the other disciples (21:15–19). Peter’s bitter experience taught him how to be tender and watchful over the Lord’s sheep. Having received the Holy Spirit, he was ready for the toil and joys of being a shepherd to people.

Like Peter, we may have failed Jesus through denials, wrongdoing, selfishness, or pride. But He seeks us out and forgives us, just as He did Peter. Watch Meno Kalisher’s, Daniel Kalisher’s, and Debby Nalbandian’s devotional video, “Jesus, the Mission,” and learn more about God’s forgiveness and restoration. He restores us and gives us a new commission—helping us care for others. As we follow Jesus, we share our love for Him with those we meet.

By:  Amy Boucher Pye

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Joyce Meyer – You Can Talk to God

 

I acknowledged my sin to You, and I did not hide my wickedness; I said, “I will confess [all] my transgressions to the LORD”; and You forgave the guilt of my sin. — Psalm 32:5 (AMP)

Adapted from the resource Healing the Soul of a Woman – by Joyce Meyer

Our souls can be wounded for many different reasons. Sometimes we’re wounded by things other people have done to us, other times the wounds come from our own bad choices. Even when we regret past sin or mistakes, the pain they caused will linger if we let it.

Some people who are strong, mature Christians and walk closely with God today haven’t always had an intimate relationship with Him. Some of them, like me, have abuse, betrayal, addictions, and other hurtful things in their background. They’re healed today because they refused to allow their past to determine their future. I want you to know that no matter what is in your past or how painful it’s been, healing is available for you and your future can be better than you ever imagined.

One of the most important steps you can take toward healing is to talk to God about what hurts you and confess to Him any sin you’ve committed. If there’s shame or guilt associated with what happened to you (as in the case of victims of abuse, or someone who made a very bad decision that affected others), you may wonder if God really wants to hear about it. I can assure you that He does! First of all, He already knows everything about the situation, and second, He understands that acknowledging our wrongdoing or pain helps cleanse it from our soul. There is no one better than God to talk to about the things that have hurt you. You can talk to Him about anything, and He will not judge you or be angry or frustrated with you. He loves you more than anyone on earth ever could, and He’s the only One who can heal your broken heart.

Many people in the Bible sinned and failed. Even some of those we think of as being closest to God made bad choices. Abraham got tired of waiting for God to give him a son through Sarah, so he turned to her handmaid instead (see Genesis 16:1–4). David lusted after Bathsheba and got her pregnant, then had her husband killed (see 2 Samuel 11:2–24). But both Abraham and David recovered and went on to do great things for God. James refers to Abraham as “a friend of God” (James 2:23), and the Bible calls David “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22).

One of the keys of David’s restoration and the great future he enjoyed after his moral failure was his willingness to repent and receive God’s forgiveness. He wrote that God desires “truth in [our] innermost being” (Psalm 51:6 AMP). I encourage you today to talk to God about the things that have hurt you or the ways you’ve failed in the past, and He will comfort you. You can be restored completely, and I encourage you to believe that with all your heart.

Prayer Starter: Lord, please show me what I need to talk to You about, and how I can begin to overcome the pain in my past. Thank You for comforting me, forgiving me, and giving me the strength to move forward. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – As Much As We Need 

 

“But you should divide with them. Right now you have plenty and can help them; then at some other time they can share with you when you need it. In this way each will have as much as he needs” (2 Corinthians 8:14).

I like Paul’s emphasis on spiritual equality. In his letter to the church at Corinth, this principle is clearly expressed:

“You can help them…they can share with you…each will have as much as he needs.”

Not one of us is a total body within himself; collectively, we are the body of Christ.

The hand can accomplish only certain kinds of functions.

The eyes cannot physically grasp objects, but they can see them.

The ears cannot transport the body like feet can, but ears can hear many sounds.

The hand needs the eye, and the eye needs the hand. All parts of the body need each other in order to function as a healthy body.

Are the parts the same? No. Do they have equality? Yes.

While the Christians at Corinth possessed all the spiritual gifts, they were not glorifying Christ or building up one another. Instead, they were glorifying themselves, glorifying their special gifts, and exercising their gifts in the flesh instead of in the power and control of the Holy Spirit.

Time and again, the apostle Paul stressed to the Corinthians that an atmosphere of godly love, agape, must prevail or the exercising of their gifts would be fruitless.

Bible Reading: II Corinthians 8:7-15

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I will be content with my place in the Body of Christ, whether it be large or small, realizing that every part of the body is vitally important in God’s kingdom.

 

 

http://www.cru.org

Streams in the Desert for Kids -Don’t Fret

 

Psalm 37:1

What in the world does “fret” mean? Here is a little word that doesn’t have any positive definitions. It means “to worry, to be discontent, to have something be eaten away by something else.” It means, “to torment or irritate or upset someone or yourself.” So when the Bible says not to “fret” it means “quit worrying about it.” That’s not always easy to do, is it?

Here’s another little word with a negative definition: Envy. Envy is a kind of jealousy. The dictionary defines it as the “resentful or unhappy feeling of wanting somebody else’s success, good fortune, qualities, or possessions.” We can envy someone else’s clothes, their looks, their friendships, their talents, or their achievements. For example, when a friend does well on an exam, instead of being happy for her, you feel jealous and you wish it could have been you instead. That’s envy.

The Bible says that we shouldn’t fret about or envy the apparent success of people who do wrong. Do you know someone who got rewarded for cheating? How did it make you feel? Did you fret and feel envious? Unfortunately, fretting and envy don’t change the situation, but they do make us miserable. That’s why the Bible says not to fret or envy. And although people who cheat to get ahead appear to be getting away with it, they’re losers in the long run.

Dear Lord, I admit I have both fretted and been envious. Please help me to be content with doing honest work and to trust you with the rest. Amen.