Charles Stanley – God’s Answer to the Problem of Sin

 

Romans 5:6-10

Many people think they should wait to accept Christ’s offer of salvation until after they have improved themselves in some way. But that is actually the exact opposite of the gospel’s message.

We’re all unworthy of salvation. There is nothing we could ever do to merit God’s forgiveness and acceptance. However, He bridged the gap of sin that separated us and Him. We didn’t deserve this act of love; God did it on His own, motivated by His unfailing grace.

It would be a tragic error to think we had to make ourselves more presentable without first depending on Christ to enter our life. Jesus didn’t say, “Go clean yourselves up, get some rest, and then come to Me,” did He? Rather, He opened His arms and said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).

Jesus didn’t wait until we deserved Him—He knew that we never could. Instead, He gave Himself freely for all mankind and extended an invitation for every sinner, just as he or she is, to come to Him and find rest.

Bible in One Year: 2 Kings 10-12

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Run Toward Challenge

 

Bible in a Year:

He looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

2 Kings 6:17

Today’s Scripture & Insight:2 Kings 6:8–17

Tom chased the young men who were stealing his poor friend’s bike. He didn’t have a plan. He only knew he needed to get it back. To his surprise, the three thieves looked his way, dropped the bike and backed away. Tom was both relieved and impressed with himself as he picked up the bike and turned around. That’s when he saw Jeff, his muscular friend who had been trailing close behind.

Elisha’s servant panicked when he saw his town surrounded by an enemy army. He ran to Elisha, “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” Elisha told him to relax. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then God opened the servant’s eyes, and he “saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (vv. 15–17).

You may also find yourself in some dicey situations. You may have to risk your reputation, and perhaps even your security, because you’re determined to do what’s right. You may lose sleep wondering how it will all turn out. Remember, you’re not alone. You don’t have to be stronger or smarter than the challenge before you. Jesus is with you, and His power is greater than all rivals. Today, many believers are on the front lines in the battle against the Covid-19 virus. May we pray for them and others who are running toward the challenge. Ask yourself Paul’s question, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). Really, who? No one. Run toward your challenge, with God.

By:  Mike Wittmer

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Joyce Meyer – Don’t Take the Blame

 

Therefore there is now no condemnation [no guilty verdict, no punishment] for those who are in Christ Jesus [who believe in Him as personal Lord and Savior]. — Romans 8:1 (AMP)

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

Sometimes we feel pain in our soul because we’ve hurt someone else accidentally. Oftentimes we hurt those people because we were hurting, too, and we didn’t mean to wound them. This is especially true for women who have been through abuse or major hurt while growing up. They never wanted to cause problems; they simply didn’t know any better, so they inadvertently passed on the same pain to their children. The same could be said for people who hurt friends, spouses, or other family members unintentionally.

As we mature and come to realize that something we said or did caused pain or struggle in another person’s life, we may feel very badly about it. When that happens, the best thing to do is talk to the person, admit what we’ve done to cause pain, and offer a sincere apology. We may also feel we can explain to the person what was going on with us at the time or tell them how we came to realize that we hurt them. The most important parts of this kind of conversation are to take responsibility for our actions and to apologize. If there’s anything we can do to make it right with that person, we should offer to do so. If not, we can simply pray that God will continue to heal and strengthen him or her.

In situations where hurt has been especially deep, people may not be ready to move on. Instead, they may remind us repeatedly of what we’ve done and use our admissions and apologies against us. They might say things like, “The reason I am the way I am is that you hurt me so deeply years ago!” Or, “If you hadn’t done what you did to me, I wouldn’t have done that!” When we hear those words, we can be tempted to feel guilty or condemned about our past actions.

Once we’ve confessed our sin to God, received His forgiveness, admitted our faults to those we’ve hurt and apologized to them, we should no longer carry the guilt of our mistakes or failures. God offers us free and ultimate forgiveness, and when we have that, we can see ourselves as clean and made right, regardless of what other people say to us.

John 3:17 (NIV) says, For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him, and Romans 8:1 declares that there is no condemnation for those who belong to Him. No matter what you’ve done, you can live free, forgiven, and healed in Jesus. The people you have hurt may not be quick to forgive you, but God always will be.

Prayer Starter: Father, please remind me (especially when I’m feeling guilty or condemned) that I’m forgiven, healed and free of my past because of You. Thank You for always being quick to forgive, and for helping me grow. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – When He’s in Control

 

“But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, He will produce this kind of fruit in us:…self-control” (Galatians 5:22,23).

Sue insisted that she was Spirit-filled, and she frequently challenged others to be filled with the Spirit. But there was no evidence that the Holy Spirit was in control of her life, because she was completely undisciplined in everything she did. She knew nothing about self-control. She knew all about the Holy Spirit, in her mind, but there was no evidence that He was in her life – and in control of her life.

Dr. Henrietta Mears, as director of Christian education at the First Presbyterian Church in Hollywood, had one of the greatest spiritual ministries of her time. Hundreds of young men and women became church members and missionaries under her influence. She lived in a palatial home, owned priceless antiques and dressed beautifully. Most people assumed that she was a woman of great wealth. Actually, she was a person of relatively modest means. She simply knew how to take her regular salary, a modest inheritance, plus savings, and maximize them for God’s glory.

For example, she would advise young people, “Do not eat in expensive restaurants where you spend excessively except on rare occasions. Instead, prepare your own lunch, and over a period of a year you can save enough money by not eating out to take a trip around the world and enrich your spirit, your soul and your cultural sensitivities. Or you can use the money you save to buy something which will enhance the beauty of your home or person.”

We see disciplined people all around us in the world. Athletes discipline themselves to strict training, soldiers are drilled in military discipline, artists and writers are disciplined to sharpen their talents through dedicated practice. On the other hand, we also see examples of a lack of discipline in the lives of many people around us.

Whether a person is a Christian or a non-believer, the development of self-control as a quality of character seems to be difficult for most people. Yet we are told in the Bible that the Spirit-filled Christian will exhibit self- control as a part of the fruit of the Spirit.

Bible Reading: I Chronicles 28:9-13

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I acknowledge that to walk in the fullness and control of the Holy Spirit will enable me to demonstrate a life of discipline and self-control. Therefore, by faith, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, I shall live a life of discipline and self-control for the glory of God. Self- control is essential for supernatural living.

 

http://www.cru.org

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Be Patient!

 

Psalm 37:7

When we read the Bible, it seems like miracles happened every day, but it wasn’t really that way. In the Old Testament, for example, God performed amazing miracles when he freed his people from slavery in Egypt. First there were ten plagues to convince Pharaoh to let God’s people go. Then, when Pharaoh sent his army after the slaves, God parted the Red Sea so his people could escape from the Egyptian soldiers. And if that weren’t miracle enough, God closed the sea at just the right time so the entire army drowned!

That’s a lot of miracles one right after the other, but God’s people had waited four hundred years for these miracles to begin. For four hundred years they were slaves and held onto God’s promise that they would one day be free to go to their Promised Land. Four hundred years is nearly twice as long as the United States has existed as a country. It’s a long, long time.

Not many people like to wait; and they especially don’t like to wait a long time for something they really want. How about you? Do you get impatient when the Internet connection isn’t fast enough or when the microwave seems to take too long? It can be even harder when God is the one we’re waiting for, hoping he will do something.

What do you wish God would do for you? Are you praying about it? Are you waiting for an answer? God knows what you need better than you do. He cares about you. Patience helps us wait quietly knowing God is going to give us exactly what we need.

Dear Lord, I have a hard time waiting. I know you have plans that are much bigger than anything I can think of. Help me to wait patiently for you to answer my prayer. Amen.