Charles Stanley – Worthy of Our Praise

 

Revelation 5:1-14

In John’s vision, angels surround the throne in heaven and sing, “Worthy is the Lamb!” From the apostle’s glimpse into the heavenly realm, it was clear that the Lord rules over earthly kings—even over the emperor Domitian, who at the time was set on destroying followers of Christ. Like other Roman emperors, he wanted to be worshipped as god and felt threatened by the believers’ faith. Understandably, early Christians needed to be reminded that Jesus, the Lamb, reigns over all.

Throughout Scripture, the Lord has established that He alone is God. Consider King Nebuchadnezzar, who was warned that he would be humbled in order to recognize that “the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind” (Dan. 4:17). Indeed, Nebuchadnezzar, who had vast power, in time learned that the King of heaven is worthy, “for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride” (Dan. 4:37).

One day, all creation will bow before Jesus and confess that He alone is Lord (Phil. 2:9-11). But we don’t have to wait; we can worship Him now. We can also pray that, like Nebuchadnezzar, those who have been given great power will receive revelation of who Jesus truly is.

Bible in One Year: 1 Chronicles 19-21

 

 

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Our Daily Bread — Go-Between Prayer

 

Bible in a Year:

The Spirit intercedes for God’s people.

Romans 8:27

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Romans 8:26–34

Late one Saturday afternoon, my family and I stopped at a local restaurant for lunch. As the waiter set crispy fries and thick burgers on our table, my husband glanced up and asked his name. Then he said, “We pray as a family before we eat. Is there something we can pray for you today?” Allen, whose name we now knew, looked at us with a mixture of surprise and anxiety. A short silence followed before he told us that he was sleeping on his friend’s couch each night, his car had just quit working, and he was broke.

As my husband quietly asked God to provide for Allen and show him His love, I thought about how our go-between prayer was similar to what happens when the Holy Spirit takes up our cause and connects us with God. In our moments of greatest need—when we realize we’re no match to handle life on our own, when we don’t know what to say to God, “The Spirit intercedes for God’s people” (Romans 8:27). What the Spirit says is a mystery, but we’re assured that it always fits with God’s will for our lives.

The next time you pray for God’s guidance, provision, and protection in someone else’s life, let that act of kindness remind you that your spiritual needs are also being lifted to God who knows your name and cares about your problems.

By:  Jennifer Benson Schuldt

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Missing Easter

Covid-19 made the celebration of Easter unlike anything we have ever seen. Public gatherings banned around the world, congregations resorted to Facebook live events or Zoom gatherings online in which solitary pastors connected with isolated parishioners to declare the resurrection of Jesus. Many churches creatively tackled this new reality with cleverly edited clips of house-bound individuals singing or performing favorite hymns. But no matter the ingenuity, it was a surreal experience to participate in Easter worship by myself in front of a computer screen. In many ways, I felt as if I had “missed” Easter.

But if I am honest, even without the Covid-19 restrictions, there have been Easter Sundays that have come and gone without much notice in my own life as well. Even though I am present in body and mind, my heart is often disengaged from the significance of this celebration. Thankfully, the season of Eastertide invites all to inquire how the continuing presence of the risen Lord manifests himself in our day-to-day reality—an even more poignant and pressing quest in the face of the global pandemic.

I am reminded, as I try to live into Easter realities, that the disciple Thomas also missed Easter Sunday, in a way. Remembered in Christian tradition as “doubting Thomas,” he was not physically present when Jesus first appeared to his disciples after his resurrection. Locked up in a room because of their fear of the Jewish authorities, the ten remaining disciples may have been huddled together puzzling over Mary Magdalene’s pronouncement that she had seen Jesus, alive and well, after her visit to his tomb. John’s gospel does not tell his readers why Thomas is not present with the other disciples; he simply records that on “the first day of the week… Jesus came and stood in their midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you….’ But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.”(1)

When Thomas did show up, the other disciples proclaimed their good news to him. They too, like Mary before them, had seen the risen Jesus. He was alive and he had come to them. Thomas, however, is not convinced and tells them so. “Unless I see in his hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Thomas could have made this declaration out of a place of despair rather than disbelief. Unfortunately, for him, the history of biblical interpretation and teaching has sided with the latter. Thomas is “doubting Thomas” who refused to believe; all because he wasn’t there on that first Easter appearance of Jesus.

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Joyce Meyer – From Faith to Faith

 

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. — Romans 1:17 (KJV)

Adapted from the resource Closer to God Each Day – by Joyce Meyer

It’s always my goal to live from faith to faith. A number of years ago God told me, “Joyce, you often go from faith to faith to doubt to unbelief, and then back to faith to doubt to unbelief.”

Have you ever been there? In the middle of this crazy world, sometimes we’re confident, then we’re fearful at other times. Maybe we’re positive and then the next minute we’re negative, or we have faith, but then we have doubt, sometimes all within a matter of minutes. That unpredictability is usually evident in our speech, as we see in James 3:10 (AMPC):

“Out of the same mouth come forth blessing and cursing. These things, my brethren, ought not to be so.”

Sometimes it can seem nearly impossible to have consistent faith and not doubt. The truth is, without Jesus we can’t, but with Him all things are possible. He’s the Author and Finisher of our faith (see Hebrews 12:2). As we look to Him for strength, He’s always faithful to help us trust Him more.

Prayer Starter: Father, please help me to stay in faith consistently, even when life gets crazy. Thank You for giving me strength to fight the doubts the enemy throws my way, and to move forward in faith today. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Instruct, Teach, Guide

 

“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with Mine eye” (Psalm 32:8, KJV).

As an Eastern monarch, David was familiar with the thought behind this interesting expression: “guide thee with Mine eye.”

As he sat in state, David was surrounded by a number of servants who were eager to do his bidding. They constantly fixed their eyes on him, and when David wanted any service done, he rarely needed to speak. Each servant knew his post, and his eyes were dutifully fixed on his master. At a nod or a sign – a turn of the eye – he flew to complete the desired service.

How refreshing to know that our God keeps an eye on each one of us as His children. He knows the way we are going; He knows the way we should take – and with His watchful eye He promises to instruct us and to teach us.

When we become careless and stubborn, and thus are not observing the slightest indications of God’s will for us, we require the bit and bridle instead of the guiding eye. Great attentiveness and great desire are presupposed on the part of those who are led.

On some subjects, full directions and plain commands are not always given in the Word of God. In such cases, we must be especially sensitive to the guiding eye.

Similarly, we apply the truth of this passage to the truth of a particular providence. God’s guiding us with His eye often indicates to us His will by means of providential events. When we live and walk in the Spirit, by faith, we recognize His guiding eye.

Bible Reading: Proverbs 3:1-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will try to be more sensitive to God’s guiding eye, realizing that I will find proper direction in no other way.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – God Keeps His Promise

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

All of a sudden you’re cleaning out your desk.  The voices of doubt and fear raise their volume. “How will I pay the bills?” you think.  “Who’s going to hire me?”  Do you think you’ve lost it all? Determine not to make this mistake.  You haven’t lost it all.  Romans 11:29 promises God’s gifts and God’s call are under full warranty—never canceled, never rescinded.  What do you have that you cannot lose?

Here’s what you tell yourself: “I’m still God’s child.  My life is more than this life.  These days are a vapor, a passing breeze.  This will eventually pass.  God will make something good of this.  I will work hard, stay faithful, and trust Him no matter what.”

Choose to heed the call of God on your life.  You are God’s child.  Your life is more than this life, more than this broken heart, more than this difficult time.  God won’t break a promise. You will get through this!

 

Read more You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Turbulent Times

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

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Denison Forum – We are witnessing an unprecedented social experiment: A powerful way to experience unity in community

Jacquie Benetua-Rolens is communications and engagement coordinator at Santa Cruz Community Health Centers. Her two-year-old son has become a fixture in her daily Zoom meetings with colleagues, waving at them in his pajamas.

Before the pandemic, she worked in a small cubicle back at the office. Now that she’s working from home, she told the New York Times, “There is this softened, unfiltered, more honest version of ourselves that I’m enjoying getting to know. There is room to be forgiving and understanding with each other and ourselves. And it’s because we’ve all had to juggle.”

She’s one of millions of Americans taking part in an unprecedented social experiment. A Gallup poll found that a majority of those now working from home would prefer to continue doing so “as much as possible” after the pandemic.

It’s easy to see why. They are spending less time on the road. (The Times article cites a report that the average American who drives to work spends fifty-four hours a year stuck in traffic.) A 2014 study found that those who work from home are more productive. They run less risk of being infected by colleagues. They have more time for fitness during the day.

And a 2005 study found that job satisfaction increased with each additional hour spent working remotely (though it stopped increasing after fifteen hours working remotely).

The relevance of location to happiness

Telecommuting is obviously difficult for those in manufacturing or service jobs. The healthcare heroes saving lives in this pandemic cannot work from home. Nor can the frontline workers delivering food to stores and homes. Or the police officers risking their lives to keep us safe.

The Times article also notes that problem-solving and creativity can suffer when workers are isolated from each other. Such isolation can also lead to loneliness and boredom. And as we noted in yesterday’s Daily Article, homeschooling while working can be very challenging.

Continue reading Denison Forum – We are witnessing an unprecedented social experiment: A powerful way to experience unity in community