Charles Stanley – Jesus Is Alive and Active

 

Hebrews 10:10-14

Have you ever wondered what Jesus is doing, now that He’s in heaven? Today’s passage tells us that He is sitting at God’s right hand. It might make us wonder what He’s doing up there. Is He simply waiting for the time when He comes back to earth? No! He’s actually quite active on our behalf.

First, the Lord Jesus is within every believer, in the person of the Holy Spirit (John 15:26; Rom. 8:9-10). This means that from heaven, Christ is working to shape your character and empower your obedience.

Second, the Lord intercedes for us (Heb. 7:25). He makes requests on our behalf and brings our prayers to the Father.

Third, we see in 1 John 2:1-2 that Jesus is our Advocate when we sin. Positioned between us and the Father, He declares our righteous standing because of His sacrifice and our faith in Him.

Finally, Christ is preparing a place for us in heaven (John 14:1-3) and arranging all events necessary for His return.

Jesus is in heaven carrying out the Father’s will. And we should be doing the same thing here on earth. The Lord can save others through us when we reflect His life in our work, attitudes, words, and behavior. Let us, Christ’s body—His eyes, ears, voice, feet, and hands—point others to Him.

Bible in One Year: 1 Kings 10-12

 

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Our Daily Bread — Able to Help

 

Bible in a Year:

Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Hebrews 2:18

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Hebrews 2:14–18

Joe’s eight-week “break” from his job as a crisis care worker at a New York City church was not a vacation. In his words, it was “to live again among the homeless, to become one of them, to remember what hungry, tired, and forgotten feel like.” Joe’s first stint on the streets had come nine years earlier when he arrived from Pittsburgh without a job or a place to stay. For thirteen days he lived on the streets with little food or sleep. That’s how God had prepared him for decades of ministry to needy people.

When Jesus came to earth, He also chose to share the experiences of those He came to save. “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14). From birth to death, nothing was missing from Christ’s human experience—except sin (4:15). Because He conquered sin, He can help us when we’re tempted to sin.

And Jesus doesn’t need to reacquaint Himself with our earthly cares. The One who saves us remains connected to us and is deeply interested in us. Whatever life brings, we can be assured that the One who rescued us from our greatest foe, the devil (2:14), stands ready to help us in our times of greatest need.

By:  Arthur Jackson

 

 

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Ravi Zacharias Ministry – This Bright Mystery

The question at the time caught me off guard. As a student of theology and religion, I was used to being asked to defend and explain my theology, but this was something different. I had been talking to someone about some old fears, a battle with disordered eating and a hauntingly skewed image of body. I was explaining that what had helped me to move past some of these fears was a faith that gave me hope in a world far beyond them, where wounds would one day be healed and tears would be no more. His response pulled me down from my seemingly hopeful, ascended place. “What is your theology of the body?” he asked. “How does God speak to your physical existence right now?” I didn’t know how to respond. How had my body accompanied me in life and faith? I wasn’t quite sure that it had.

The physical isn’t a matter the spiritual always consider. But for the Christian, they are severely and mercifully united and there is a world of hope in the considering. What does it mean that Christ came in the flesh, with sinew and marrow? What does it mean that the terrible events of Holy Week just upon us were enacted in a body? What does it mean that the quickly spreading claims of resurrection did not take the easier route and claim that Jesus was simply spiritually risen from dead? They ate and drank with him. They touched his fatal wounds. They insisted that Jesus came back from the horrors of the cross in a resurrected body.

What does it meant that Christians claim that Jesus is the vicariously human, risen Son of God, a corporal being who now sits at the right hand of the Father? What does Christ’s wounded and resurrected body have to do with our own today? These are the questions the church holds physically and attentively close, though the modern divorce of the spiritual and the physical, heaven and earth, what is now and what will be, has made them difficult questions to consider. Now more than ever, nonetheless, these are ideas worth re-examining.

For among religions, it is a most unique hope: God in a body. God in a risen body. The distinctive promise of the Christian is union with none other than this human Christ himself. In faith and by the Spirit, we are united to the same body that was on the cross and was in the tomb, that ate with friends and walked with the unwanted—both before and after his own death. We are united with a body that was wounded and humiliated, dead and buried, a body that is very much a human and physical promise that we no longer need to fear death. Of its theology of the body, the New Testament is very clear: “Since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead has also come through a human being; for as all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ.”(1)

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – This Bright Mystery

Joyce Meyer – Stop the Racing Thoughts

 

But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart. — 1 Corinthians 2:16b (AMPC)

Adapted from the resource Battlefield of the Mind – by Joyce Meyer

I reached the curb in front of the airport, where my friend was coming to pick me up. I was calm and relaxed and thought of the great conversation we would have. To my surprise, she wasn’t there yet, which was odd because she’s the kind of person who’s never late for anything. I spotted what I thought was her car and took a step forward, but the car went past me, and there was a stranger in it.

Not more than three minutes had passed, but I realized I was now anxious and worried. What had happened to her? Had she been in an accident? Did she forget me? From peace to anxiety in less than three minutes, and nothing had changed—nothing except my mind. Worried thoughts were racing inside me.

I pulled out my cell phone and started to dial her number, then I heard a car honking and saw her pull up to the curb. My mind shifted back to calmness, and even joy as we started catching up. How quickly my emotions had swayed back and forth in those few minutes!

Sometimes I find it incredibly easy to hear God speak and to believe Him, and other times, worry and anxiety make it extremely hard to hear His voice. The Bible says we are to walk by faith and not by sight, but that day at the airport, I was definitely being led by what I saw. When we worry, we’re not walking in faith or trusting God.

For many years, I had a critical, suspicious, and judgmental mind. That may seem normal for many nonbelievers, but I was a Christian. I was operating with the same mindset that I’d had for years, because it was normal to me—I had no idea that my wrong thinking was causing any problems.

Since no one had taught me otherwise, I didn’t know I could do anything to change my thought life. No one had told me that God had provided a new way for us to do life by renewing our minds (see Romans 12:2).

One day I read 1 Corinthians 2:16, where Paul says we have the mind of Christ. What could he have meant? I pondered that verse for days. I eventually realized that having the mind of Christ doesn’t mean we’re sinless or perfect, but it means that we begin to think the way He thinks. Because we have His mind, we think on things that are good and honorable and loving. We can defeat Satan’s attacks by thinking and speaking God’s thoughts.

Prayer Starter: Father, I want to live with the mind of Christ. Please help me today to think kind, loving thoughts about myself and about others. Thank You for being faithful to remind me in each moment of what to focus on. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Listens and Answers 

 

“Mark this well: The Lord has set apart the redeemed for himself. Therefore He will listen to me and answer when I call to Him” (Psalm 4:3).

My 93-year-old mother has known and walked with the Lord since she was 16. In all the years that I have known her, now more than 60, I have never known her to say an unkind or critical word or do anything that would be contrary to her commitment to Christ, made as a teenage girl.

Hers has been a life of prayer, study of God’s Word and worship of Him. The radiance and joy of her godly life has inspired not only her husband and seven children, but also scores of grandchildren and great and great-great grandchildren, and thousands of neighbors and friends.

A few days ago I invited her – for the hundredth time, at least – to come and live with us, knowing that all the rest of the children have made similar invitations. She responded, “No, I prefer to live alone. But I am not really alone, for the Lord Jesus is with me, comforting me, giving me His peace and assurance that He will take care of me.”

So she spends her days in prayer, in study of the Word and in being a blessing to all who enter her home, as the love of God flows through her. Only eternity will record the multitudes of lives that have been transformed through her godly example and her dedicated prayers of intercession.

Surely every Christian needs a daily engagement – with priority claim over everything else – to meet the Lord in the secret place if his life is to be a benediction to others.

Bible Reading: Psalm 5:1-7

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I recognize that if I am going to live a supernatural life, I must set aside time which will take priority over every other consideration. Only a genuine emergency will take precedence over such an engagement of prayer, study of God’s Word, worship and praise of my wonderful Lord.

 

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Let Your Gentleness Be Evident to All

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

How many disasters have been averted because one person refused to buckle under the strain? It’s this kind of composure Paul is summoning when he says, “Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything” (Philippians 4:5-6).

The Greek word translated here as “gentleness” describes a temperament that’s seasoned and mature.  It envisions an attitude fitting to the occasion, levelheaded and tempered.  This gentleness is “evident to all.”  Family members take note.  Your friends sense a difference. Coworkers benefit from it.

The gentle person is sober minded and clear thinking.  The contagiously calm person is the one who reminds others, “God is in control.”  Pursue this gentleness.  The Lord is near—you are not alone.  You may feel alone.  You may think you’re alone.  But there is never a moment in which you face life without help.  God is near—be anxious for nothing!

Read more Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

 

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Denison Forum – My favorite coronavirus humor: Finding ‘signals of transcendence’ in a pandemic

President Trump announced yesterday the White House’s three-phase plan for easing social distancing measures, a subject I intend to discuss in this afternoon’s Special Edition. For this morning, however, let’s shift from news about the coronavirus pandemic to focus on a surprising way to respond to news about the pandemic.

I’m reading Edward Achorn’s Every Drop of Blood, which masterfully sets Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address in its historical context. I have long been a student of Civil War history, but I did not realize the depth of personal rejection and suffering our sixteenth president endured as he tried to lead the nation through her most perilous days.

And yet, Lincoln was famous during the war for his quips and down-home humor. He would often respond to criticism and anger with a story that changed the entire tone of the moment. He once explained his strategy: “With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die.”

On another occasion Lincoln said he felt “like the boy that stumped his toe: it hurt too bad to laugh, and he was too big to cry.” He summarized his spirit in crisis this way: “I laugh because I must not cry.”

“The world has turned upside down” 

Now let’s try an experiment. A dear friend sent me some “humor while in quarantine” yesterday:

  • “Quarantine has turned us into dogs. We roam the house all day looking for food. We are told ‘no’ if we get too close to strangers. And we get really excited about car rides.”
  • “The world has turned upside down. Old folks are sneaking out of the house, and their kids are yelling at them to stay indoors.”
  • “2019: Stay away from negative people. 2020: Stay away from positive people.”
  • “Tomorrow is the National Homeschool Tornado Drill. Lock your kids in the basement until you give the all clear. You’re welcome!”
  • “Day seven at home and the dog is looking at me like, ‘See? This is why I chew the furniture!'”

Continue reading Denison Forum – My favorite coronavirus humor: Finding ‘signals of transcendence’ in a pandemic