Charles Stanley – Sunday Reflection: The Meekness of Christ

 

In a world dominated by the powerful and strong, no one wants to be seen as weak or easily taken advantage of. Our culture is quick to use the label “meek” for people who seem submissive or unassuming, but God paints a different picture of meekness—one that’s strong yet gentle, unselfish, and kind.

As He was being led to the cross, Jesus didn’t argue or demand to be understood. Nor did He take advantage of His power as the Son of God (Phil. 2:6-7). Instead, our Savior humbled Himself, giving His life so we could become like Him (Phil. 2:8; Rom. 8:29). And He prayed for the forgiveness of the very people who nailed His body to the cross (Luke 23:34). Imagine if we truly embraced this as our model for meekness—displaying grace and humility at all times, even when the world around us says we shouldn’t. How would life be different?

Think about it
• What does it mean that Jesus was “gentle and humble in heart” (Matt. 11:29). How is this kind of gentleness and humility manifested in your relationships with other people?

  •  Think about the difference between our culture’s definition of meekness (weak, powerless) and the Son of God’s sacrifice for us. Does meditating on His example help you to understand meekness in a new way?

Bible in One Year: 2 Samuel 23-24

 

 

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Our Daily Bread — Grief Overturned

 

Bible in a Year:

I have seen the Lord!

John 20:18

 

Today’s Scripture & Insight:John 20:11–18

According to Jim and Jamie Dutcher, filmmakers known for their knowledge of wolves, when happy, wolves wag their tails and romp about. But after the death of a pack member, they grieve for weeks. They visit the place where the pack member died, showing grief by their drooping tails and mournful howls.

Grief is a powerful emotion we’ve all experienced, particularly at the death of a loved one or of a treasured hope. Mary Magdalene experienced it. She’d traveled with and helped support Jesus and His disciples (Luke 8:1–3). But His cruel death on a cross separated them. The only thing left for Mary to do for Jesus was to finish anointing His body for burial—a task the Sabbath had interrupted. But imagine how Mary felt when she found not a lifeless, broken body but a living Savior! Though she hadn’t at first recognized the man standing before her, when He spoke her name, she knew who He was—Jesus! Instantly, grief turned to joy. Mary now had joyful news to share: “I have seen the Lord!” (John 20:18).

Jesus entered our dark world to bring freedom and life. His resurrection celebrates that He accomplished what He set out to do. Watch the devotional video, “Jesus, the Resurrection,” to learn more about the joy of a new life in Christ. We too can celebrate His resurrection and share the good news: He’s alive!

By:  Linda Washington

 

 

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 – Without Me – Nothing 

 

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing” (John 15:4,5, KJV).

As a young man in college and later in business, I used to be very self-sufficient – proud of what I could do on my own. I believed that a man could do just about anything he wanted to do through his own effort, if he were willing to pay the price of hard work and sacrifice, and I experienced some considerable degree of success.

Then, when I became a Christian, the Bible introduced me to a whole new and different philosophy of life – a life of trusting God for His promises. It took me a while to see the fallacy and inadequacy of trying to serve God in my own strength and ability, but that new life of faith in God finally replaced my old life of self-sufficiency.

Now, I realize how totally incapable I am of living the Christian life, how really weak I am in my own strength, and yet how strong I am in Christ. God does not waste our ability and training. We do not lay aside our God-given gifts and talents. We give them back to Him in service, and He multiplies them for His glory.

As Paul says, “I can do all things through Him [Christ] who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13, NAS). In John 15, the Lord stresses the importance of drawing our strength from Him:

“Take care to live in Me, and let Me live in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit when severed from the vine. Nor can you be fruitful apart from Me. Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him shall produce a large crop of fruit. For apart from Me, you can’t do a thing” (John 15:4,5). Our strength, wisdom, love and power for the supernatural life come from the Lord alone.

Bible Reading: John 15:6-11

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I will make it a special goal to abide in Christ so that His life-giving power for supernatural living will enable me to bear much fruit for His glory.

 

 

http://www.cru.org