Charles Stanley – When Adversity Hits, Look Up

 

Psalm 27:1-14

Where do you go for help when storms come into your life? Trouble has a way of drawing our focus downward to the immediate situation rather than upward to the Lord, who reigns over every event in our life. Therefore, our first response to trials should be to open the Bible and find out what God has said.

When we focus our attention on the Lord and His promises, it’s like throwing wood on the fire of our spiritual life, which helps us face whatever challenges come our way. However, because we have a tendency to let worry and fear slip back in, we must continue to add fuel to the fire by repeatedly filling our minds with truths from God’s Word.

Although storms have many origins, there is only one answer for all of them. When everything around us comes unglued and falls apart, we must go to our knees, trusting the Lord to give us a sense of assurance and boldness to stand firm in obedience. A yielded life that’s settled in God’s Word, open to His work within us, and made adequate in the Holy Spirit’s love and power is immovable in the tempests of life.

Bible in One Year: 2 Kings 7-9

 

 

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Our Daily Bread — Divinely Aligned

 

Bible in a Year:

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!

Romans 11:33

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Romans 11:33–36

I was deeply troubled and woke in the night to pace the floor and pray. Frankly, my attitude was not one of prayerful submission to God, but one of questioning and anger. Finding no release, I sat and stared out a large window at the night sky. I was unexpectedly drawn to focus on Orion’s Belt—those three perfectly arranged stars often visible on clear nights. I knew just enough about astronomy to understand that those three stars were hundreds of light years apart.

I realized the closer I could be to those stars, the less they would appear to be aligned. Yet from my distant perspective, they looked carefully configured in the heavens. At that moment, I realized I was too close to my life to see what God sees. In His big picture, everything is in perfect alignment.

The apostle Paul, as he completes a summary of the ultimate purposes of God, breaks into a hymn of praise (Romans 11:33–36). His words lift our gaze to our sovereign God, whose ways are beyond our limited ability to understand or trace (v. 33). Yet the One who holds all things together in the heavens and on earth is intimately and lovingly involved with every detail of our lives (Matthew 6:25–34Colossians 1:16).

Even when things seem confusing, God’s divine plans are unfolding for our good and for God’s honor and glory.

By:  Evan Morgan

 

 

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Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Crosses in the Concrete

The image of a concrete slab with a cross shaped hollow speaks to me.

The concrete reminds me of what our cities are made of and maybe even my unspoken perception of what upward economic and social mobility might be to a girl who grew up in a township. It’s seeming sense of durability and superiority as a building material makes me forget that it’s only reconstituted dust and water. However disillusioning and dissatisfying at points, somewhere in my heart I know that the city and its concreteness is redeemable. Life can grow from within its stones.

Also, this cement has a cross shaped hollow.

Being a believer in a city in this particular Easter season has exposed my idols yet again. Consumerism and a false sense of “betterness” based on spatial-economic privilege are not the brokers of personhood. Even though the philosophies and sociologies of our city-planners have resulted in unjust city policies, even though I consciously and unconsciously participate in a market-centered society where buying, selling, and grind culture is the currency of existence, I feel disrupted by this image: an empty cross that tells the story of my barrenness and of God’s unending abundance.

Even spiritual markers of time like the Easter season are typically inundated by symbols of consumerism and monuments prioritized as central signifiers of human progress. But this year, what I buy and have is irrelevant. All of these excesses have been locked outside our homes to give us enough time to notice the idols inside. Do I rely on having things to show me that I exist? These new restrictions help renew my awe in a simpler existence. They cultivate a new longing for the kingdom to be visible through my life, a kingdom that in its very simplicity moves others to join the feast. As our worlds compress into rooms and balconies, we have been awakened to the gift of the little that we have or the plenty that we have, and we are each being invited by pain to remember generosity and kindness.

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Joyce Meyer – The Written Word

 

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. — Psalm 119:105 (AMPC)

Adapted from the resource Ending You Day Right – by Joyce Meyer

The Bible is written as a personal letter to you from God. He speaks to you, meets your needs, and guides your steps through His written Word. He reveals truth, wisdom and teaches you how to live.

Without spending time in His Word, we can’t hear His voice clearly and accurately. Knowing the written Word protects us from deception—it’s our standard for truth. Listening for God’s voice without being in His Word consistently opens you up to hearing voices that are not from God, which is why it’s so important to not only read His Word, but to study it. There may be times when God speaks something to you that is outside a specific chapter and verse of the Bible, but it will always be in agreement with His Word.

Today, spend some time (even if it’s just a few minutes) reading a little of God’s personal letter to you, and ask Him to speak to your heart.

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for the gift of Your Word, and for the peace and direction and provision I can find in it. Please reveal more and more truth to me as I spend time getting to know Your Word better. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Poor, Blind and Naked

 

“You say, ‘I am rich, with everything I want; I don’t need a thing!” And you don’t realize that spiritually you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked” (Revelation 3:17). 

George had come for a week of lay training at Arrowhead Springs. Following one of my messages on revival, in which I explained that most Christians are like the members of the church at Ephesus and Laodicea, as described in Revelation 2 and 3, he came to share with me how, though he was definitely lukewarm and had lost his first love, he frankly had never read those passages, had never heard a sermon such as I had presented and therefore did not realize how wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked he was.

If there were such an instrument as a “faith thermometer,” at what level would your faithfulness register? Hot? Lukewarm? Cold?

Jesus said to the church at Laodicea, “I know you well – you are neither hot nor cold; I wish you were one or the other! But since you are merely lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth!” (Revelation 3:15).

Again, I ask you, where does your faithfulness register on that faith thermometer?

The greatest tragedy in the history of nations is happening right here in America. Here we are, a nation founded by Christians, a nation founded upon godly principles, a nation blessed beyond all the nations of history for the purpose of doing God’s will in the world. But most people in this country, including the majority of church members, have without realizing it become materialistic and humanistic, all too often worshiping man and his achievements instead of the only true God.

Granted, the opinion polls show meteoric growth in the number of people in America who claim to be born-again Christians. But where does their faith register on the faith thermometer? America is a modern-day Laodicea. We are where we are today because too many Christians have quenched the Holy Spirit in their lives.

Bible Reading: Revelation 3:14-19

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  Realizing that America cannot become spiritually renewed without individual revival, I will humble myself, and pray, and seek God’s face, and turn from my wicked ways. By faith I will claim revival in my own heart.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Pray Specific Prayers

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

A father was teaching his three-year-old daughter the Lord’s Prayer.  She would repeat the lines after him.  Finally she decided to go solo.  She carefully enunciated each word, right up to the end of the prayer.  “Lead us not into temptation,” she prayed, “but deliver us from e-mail.” (…not a bad prayer).

God calls us to pray about everything!  We tell God exactly what we want.  We pray the particulars. When the wedding ran low on wine, Mary wasn’t content to say, “Help us, Jesus.”  She was specific:  “They  have no more wine” (John 2:3).  A specific prayer is a serious prayer.  If I say to you, “Do you mind if I come by your house sometime?” you may not take me seriously. But if I say, “Can I come over this Friday night? I really need your advice.”  Then you know my petition is sincere.  When we offer specific requests, God knows the same!

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

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Denison Forum – Bengals make Joe Burrow first pick in the NFL draft: Who you are is not what you do, but what you do reflects who you are

The National Football League held its first-ever virtual draft last night. As many predicted, the Cincinnati Bengals made LSU quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow their selection and thus the first pick in the draft.

Will Burrow become a superstar in the league? Or will he soon be forgotten?

In the fifty-three previous seasons since the AP Rookie of the Year award began, only six first draft picks have won the award. Burrow can enjoy his status until the season begins (whenever that is), but then he will become one of 1,696 players on NFL rosters.

What happened to me in 1958 

In our culture, who we are is measured by what we do. The Bible disagrees.

One of the earliest controversies in Christian history was whether Gentiles could become Christians without first having to submit to the rules and customs of Judaism. In other words, was there something they had to do to become who they could be in Christ?

Paul answered this question definitively: “When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God” (Galatians 4:4–7).

I was born in 1958. I did nothing to deserve being born. I did not choose to be born. Rather, this choice was made for me. Once I became the child of my parents, I would always be their child. There was nothing I could do to earn or lose this status.

In the same way, when we are “born again,” we become forever the children of God (John 3:3; 2 Corinthians 5:17).

Br. David Vryhof of the Society of St. John the Evangelist in Boston writes: “Who we are and what we are is grounded in the truth that we belong to God. We are God’s children by adoption and heirs of God’s promises. This identity offers us a sense of value that does not come from anything that we have done for God, but rather from what God has done for us.”

Continue reading Denison Forum – Bengals make Joe Burrow first pick in the NFL draft: Who you are is not what you do, but what you do reflects who you are