Charles Stanley – The Gift of Forgiveness

 

Matthew 18:21-35

How can you lift the debt from your debtors if you don’t comprehend your own indebtedness? How can you offer that freedom if you yourself have never received it? One of the biggest obstacles to forgiving others is our failure to understand the depth of God’s forgiveness for us. Not until you accept that God has paid the penalty on your account will you cease your efforts to collect from others.

When you take God at His word, this glorious freedom can start to sink in. Then you can then begin the process of offering your offenders full forgiveness. You must choose to leave all punishment or retaliation up to the Lord. It is essential that you surrender your so-called “rights,” whether it is your right to get even or to get justice. Remember, we can totally trust God to handle our injustices appropriately because He is the ultimate judge.

It may be helpful to write out a list of all the offenses against you that you can think of. Then bring them one by one before God and leave them at His feet. By doing this—and by asking for His help—you can release your offender to the One who says, “Vengeance is Mine” (Heb. 10:30).

Bible in One Year: 2 Chronicles 5-7

 

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Open Arms

 

Bible in a Year:

In my distress I called to the Lord . . . . My cry came to his ears.

2 Samuel 22:7

Today’s Scripture & Insight:2 Samuel 22:1–7, 17–20

Saydee and his family have an “open arms and open home” philosophy. People are always welcome in their home, “especially those who are in distress,” he says. That’s the kind of household he had growing up in Liberia with his nine siblings. Their parents always welcomed others into their family. He says, “We grew up as a community. We loved one another. Everybody was responsible for everybody. My dad taught us to love each other, care for each other, protect each other.”

When King David was in need, he found this type of loving care in God. Second Samuel 22 (and Psalm 18) records his song of praise to God for the ways He had been a refuge for him throughout his life. He recalled, “In my distress I called to the Lord; I called out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came to his ears” (2 Samuel 22:7). God had delivered him from his enemies, including King Saul, many times. He praised God for being his fortress and deliverer in whom he took refuge (vv. 2–3).

While our distresses may be small in comparison to David’s, God welcomes us to run to Him to find the shelter we long for. His arms are always open. Therefore we “sing the praises of [His] name” (v. 50).

By:  Anne Cetas

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Ex Cruciatus

 

Dear Slice Readers,

In light of the recent announcement about the health of our beloved founder, we will be sharing some of our favorite A Slice of Infinity essays written by Ravi Zacharias over the years. If you would like to share your own stories, testimonies, reflections, and letters for Ravi, you can share them on social media using the hashtag #ThankYouRavi or through RZIM Connect: https://ravi.care/ThankYouRavi. We plan to share these with Ravi and his family, and know they will be encouraged by the outpouring of support during this difficult time.

Gratefully,

The RZIM A Slice of Infinity global team of contributors

There is a striking verse in the New Testament, in which the apostle Paul refers to the cross of Jesus Christ as foolishness to the Greek and a stumbling block to the Jew.(1) One can readily understand why he would say that. After all, to the Greek mind, sophistication, philosophy, and learning were exalted pursuits. How could one crucified possibly spell knowledge?

To the Jewish mind, on the other hand, there was a cry and a longing to be free. In their history, they had been attacked by numerous powers and often humiliated by occupying forces. Whether it was the Assyrians or the Babylonians or the Romans, Jerusalem had been repeatedly plundered and its people left homeless. What would the Hebrew have wanted more than someone who could take up their cause and altogether repel the enemy? How could a Messiah who was crucified possibly be of any help?

To the Greek, the cross was foolishness. To the Jew, it was a stumbling block. What is it about the cross of Christ that so roundly defies everything that power relishes? Crucifixion was humiliating. It was so humiliating that the Romans who specialized in the art of torture assured their own citizenry that a Roman could never be crucified. But not only was it humiliating, it was excruciating. In fact, the very word “excruciating” comes from two Latin words: ex cruciatus, or out of the cross. Crucifixion was the defining word for pain.

Does that not give us pause in this season now before us? Think of it: humiliation and agony. This was the path Jesus chose with which to reach out for you and for me. You see, this thing we call sin, but which we so tragically minimize, breaks the grandeur for which we were created. It brings indignity to our essence and pain to our existence. It separates us from God.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Ex Cruciatus

Joyce Meyer – Loving Others with Your Prayers

 

We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you . . .

— Colossians 1:3 (NKJV)

Adapted from the resource Love Out Loud – by Joyce Meyer

The word intercession simply means praying for someone besides your­self. It is loving others by going to God on their behalf and taking their needs to Him in prayer. Intercession is one of the most important kinds of prayer because many people do not pray for themselves. Why? Many times, it’s because they have no relationship with God.

There are also times when people are hurting too deeply to even know how to pray, or they have fought a long battle, and they’re too weary to pray. For example, I once visited a friend who had fought a valiant fight against cancer and prayed like a warrior, but she reached a point where she wasn’t strong enough to pray the way she wanted to. She said, “Joyce, I just cannot pray anymore.” She needed her friends to pray for her—not just to pray for her, but to really pray for her—to pray in her place, because she couldn’t.

I want to encourage you to come closer to God by joining Jesus in His min­istry of intercession. Your family and friends need your prayers. Your neighbors and co-workers need your prayers. The people of your church, your community, and the world need your prayers. There may be times when you’re the only person on earth praying for someone else—and your intercession can literally change the course of that person’s entire life. We live in hard times, and we have to pray for each other. Your intercession is the most powerful, most valuable gift you can ever give to those around you, and it will make an eternal difference in their lives and yours.

Prayer Starter: Father, please show me who I need to be praying for today. Thank You for working in each of their situations as well as mine! In Jesus’ Name, amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – God Meets Our Needs

 

“I have been young and now I am old. And in all my years I have never seen the Lord forsake a man who loves Him; nor have I seen the children of the godly go hungry” (Psalm 37:25). 

Tom had been a humble follower and servant of the Lord Jesus Christ from his youth. He had learned of our Lord at the family altar in his modest home. Through the urging of his father and mother, he mastered and memorized large portions of Scripture. By his teenage years he was preaching, and after a brief time of study in a Bible institute he became an evangelist. His work was largely in the smaller rural churches. His speech was never eloquent nor was he distinguished and cultured in his appearance and demeanor, but he was a man of God. wherever he went, hearts were strangely warmed as he spoke the truths concerning our wonderful Savior.

Now he had reached the ripe age of ninety. His hair was snow white and a bit long, but always neat. His ministry had covered over seventy years, and in that period he had come to know heartache, sorrow, adversity and poverty (especially during the depression years). He had performed many wedding ceremonies, had spent long nights at the bedside of the sick and had preached many funeral sermons. In obedience to his Lord, he had ministered to the widows and orphans, the poor and imprisoned. On this occasion, as he was coming to the climax of a rich and overflowing life, a radiant adventure with God – yes, the supernatural life – he reminisced. As he recalled some of the heartaches and tragedies, he said, “You know, not one single time in all my years have I seen the Lord forsake a man who loved Him, nor have I seen the children of the godly go hungry. Of course, I have seen Christians suffer, and I’ve been with them in their sorrow. But there’s something different about the life of the one who walks with God. There’s serenity, a peace. And then almost miraculously, while the ungodly go hungry, God meets the needs of His children as He promised.

“Yes,” he said in conclusion, “you can trust God and His Word. He never fails to keep His promise.”

Bible Reading: Psalm 37:26-34

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Knowing that I can trust God to meet my every need no matter what happens, I shall seek first the kingdom of God. Through the enabling of the Holy Spirit, I will live a godly life, a supernatural life for the glory of my Savior, and I will tell others how faithful and trustworthy He is.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – The Prescription for Justice

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

The Bible says “vengeance is God’s; He will repay” (Romans 12:19).  What a great reminder. Forgiveness doesn’t diminish justice, it just entrusts it to God.  We tend to give too much or too little, but the God of justice has the precise prescription.  God can discipline your abusive boss. He can soften your angry parent. He can bring your ex to his knees or her senses.

Forgiveness doesn’t diminish justice, it just entrusts it to God. Unlike us, God never gives up on a person. Never. Long after we’ve moved on, God is still there, probing the conscience, stirring conviction, always orchestrating redemption. Fix your enemies?  That’s God’s job.

When it comes to forgiveness, all of us are beginners.  No one owns a secret formula.  Remember this: as long as you’re trying to forgive, you are forgiving.  Just stay the course, and you’ll find a way to be strong even when you’ve been hurt. You’ll get through this.

 

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

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

http://www.maxlucado.com

Denison Forum – What makes this year’s Gerber baby unique: Three steps that can change a life

Magnolia Earl is the 2020 Gerber Baby. I can see why the company chose her—the one-year-old is adorable.

Her mother agrees: “Magnolia has brought so much joy to everyone she meets. Her personality is beyond happy and joyful.” Here’s the historic part of her story: she is the first adopted baby to be named the Gerber company’s spokesbaby, a tradition that dates back to 1928.

You may not have been adopted by your parents or adopted your children, but here’s a theological fact: if Jesus is your Lord, you have been adopted by your Father in heaven. In fact, this was the reason he sent his Son into the world: “to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:5).

Magnolia Earl’s parents chose her to be their daughter. Your Father chose you to be his child (John 1:12).

He loves every person on our planet as much as he loves you. Now he is calling you to do the same.

Why Emmett Till’s memorial sign had to be replaced 

In yesterday’s Daily Article, we focused on the Ahmaud Arbery shooting tragedy, looking at racism with a focus on what God will do to give us pure hearts of love for each other. Since writing that article, I have updated my website white paper on this issue (read it here). I also conducted a podcast interview with a very dear friend, now published as “What does it mean to be black in America today? A conversation with Tyrone Johnson” (listen to it here).

Continue reading Denison Forum – What makes this year’s Gerber baby unique: Three steps that can change a life