Charles Stanley –Unshakeable Faith

 

John 15:1-7

Faith often matures in hardship, because trials remind us how dependent we are on the Lord. And as we allow ourselves to trust Him more deeply, we will increasingly find that with Him, we can endure anything.

The key to such rock-solid faith is an intimate relationship with God. Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Upon salvation, we are grafted into the vine of Christ, which means that His Spirit lives and works in us and provides a constant connection between Father and child. Abiding in God gets us through hard times.

However, we have to choose to tap into that power. Trying to keep things from God’s control could interfere with His plans and cause our relationship with Him to grow distant. But when we commit to knowing God through prayer, meditation, and obedience, His power flows through us, like sap through a branch, bringing new growth.

Intimacy helps us trust the Lord when life gets difficult. And the more we abide—especially during hard times—the more we grow into unshakeable “oaks of righteousness” (Isa. 61:3).

Bible in One Year: 1 Chronicles 4-6

 

 

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Our Daily Bread — Community Memory

 

Bible in a Year:

He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you.”

Luke 22:19

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Luke 22:14–23

In his book Restless Faith, theologian Richard Mouw talks about the importance of remembering the lessons of the past. He quotes sociologist Robert Bellah, who said that “healthy nations must be ‘communities of memory.’ ” Bellah extended that principle to other societal bonds such as families. Remembering is an important part of living in community.

The Scriptures teach the value of community memory as well. The Israelites were given the Passover feast to remind them of what God had done to rescue them from slavery in Egypt (see Exodus 12:1–30). Still today, Jewish people around the world revisit that rich community memory every spring.

Passover holds great meaning for followers of Christ too, for Passover has always pointed to the work of the Messiah on the cross. It was during Passover, the night before the cross, that Jesus established His own memorial table. Luke 22:19 records, “He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’”

Every time we gather at the Lord’s Table to celebrate Communion, we remember that Christ rescued us from slavery to sin and provided us with eternal life. May the rescuing love of Jesus remind us that His cross is worth remembering—together.

By:  Bill Crowder

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Joyce Meyer – Embracing Our Brokenness

 

Show Your marvelous loving-kindness, O You Who save by Your right hand those who trust and take refuge in You from those who rise up against them. Keep and guard me as the pupil of Your eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings. — Psalm 17:7-8 (AMPC)

Adapted from the resource Starting Your Day Right – by Joyce Meyer

Have you ever felt completely broken, as if you couldn’t seem to keep yourself together? King David felt this way for many years, so much so that he said, “I am like a broken ves­sel” (Psalm 31:12 NKJV).

Brokenness might seem like a bad thing, but it can actually serve a beautiful purpose. Through brokenness, the “outer shell,” or the fleshly, ungodly parts of us can be thrown off, and the character of Christ in our spirit can shine brighter. As a result, we become more open and available for God to work through us in brand-new ways.

We all need to be broken in the way David was; we need to be totally dependent on God to strengthen, guide, and deliver us from evil. Today, let’s have the same attitude that he did: “But I trusted in, relied on, and was confident in You, O Lord; I said, You are my God” (Psalm 31:14 AMPC).

Prayer Starter: Jesus, please help me to allow brokenness to bring about good results in my life. Thank You for healing and working through my broken places to help others find Your light. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – The Right Priorities

 

“Constantly remind the people about these laws, and you yourself must think about them every day and every night so that you will be sure to obey all of them. For only then will you succeed” (Joshua 1:8).

Jim was a driven man. He loved his wife and his four children. But the thing that consumed almost every waking thought was, “How can I be a greater success? How can I earn the praise of men?”

Through neglect his family began to disintegrate, and he came to me for counsel. His wife was interested in another man; he was alienated from his children. Three were involved in drugs and one had attempted suicide twice.

“Where have I gone wrong?” Jim asked.

I reminded him of the Scripture, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?”

According to Scripture, a man’s priorities are first, to love God with all his heart, his soul and his mind, and then to love his neighbor as himself. Since his closest neighbors are his wife and children, his second priority is his wife. A good marriage takes the Ephesians 5:25 kind of love. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church,” a sacrificial, giving love.

The third priority is his children. He must show love to them, not by giving them things, but by giving them himself, spending time with them, letting them know they are far more important to him than his business.

A man must love his wife and children unconditionally as God loves him – not when, if, or because they are good and deserve to be loved.

And the fourth priority I discussed with Jim was his business. A man’s business must be dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jim surrendered his life to Christ. After almost three years of implementing the Bible’s priorities, Jim’s family again was united in the love of Christ, and God had given Jim and his wife a new-found love for Himself and for each other.

The law of God is clear: When we disobey Him, he disciplines us as a loving father and mother discipline their child, and when we obey Him, He will bless us.

Bible Reading: James 2:-8

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will seek to please the Lord in all that I do, knowing that I will experience His blessings when I obey Him, and His discipline when I disobey Him.

 

 

http://www.cru.org