Charles Stanley – When a Fellow Christian Stumbles

 

Galatians 6:1-5

One of our responsibilities as part of God’s household is to come alongside a brother or sister who has stumbled. Paul specifies that those “who are spiritual” should restore the fallen, but the word spiritual doesn’t mean some elite group of pious leaders. It refers to Christians who are living under the Holy Spirit’s control and who have an attitude of …

Gentleness. Restoration of a fellow believer doesn’t call for harshness, anger, judgment, or condemnation. Our goal is not to heap pain and guilt upon a hurting brother or sister but rather to show mercy and forgiveness (2 Corinthians 2:5-8).

Humility. Those who have a superior attitude look down on a fallen brother and think, I would never make those mistakes. But the humble know their own vulnerability and can easily put themselves in the other person’s shoes.

Love. When we love others, we will willingly share their burden. This requires an unselfish investment of our time, energy, and prayer on their behalf.

How do you react when a fellow Christian stumbles? One of the ugliest human traits is the tendency to feel better about ourselves when another person misses the mark. Let’s pray that our heart will be filled with compassion instead, and that we’ll come alongside to love and help believers who are distanced from the Lord.

Bible in One Year: 2 Chronicles 8-10

 

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Our Daily Bread — Photobombing Jesus

 

Bible in a Year:

He must become greater; I must become less.

John 3:30

Today’s Scripture & Insight: John 3:26–36

When my pastor asked our class a difficult question about the life of Jesus, my hand shot up. I had just read the story, so I knew this one. And I wanted the others in the room to know that I knew it too. After all, I’m a Bible teacher. How embarrassing it would be to be stumped in front of them! Now I was embarrassed by my fear of embarrassment. So I lowered my hand. Am I this insecure?

John the Baptist shows a better way. When his disciples complained that people were beginning to leave him and follow Jesus, John said he was glad to hear it. He was merely the messenger. “I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him. . . . He must become greater; I must become less” (3:28–30). John realized the point of his existence was Jesus. He is “the one who comes from heaven” and “is above all” (v. 31)—the divine Son who gave His life for us. He must receive all the glory and fame.

Any attention drawn to ourselves distracts from God. And since He is our only Savior and the only hope for the world, any credit we steal from Him ends up hurting us.

Let’s resolve to step out of the picture—to stop photobombing Jesus. It’s best for Him, for the world, and for us.

By:  Mike Wittmer

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – From Disparate Threads

 

Some years ago, I was visiting a place known for making the best wedding saris in the world.(1) They were the producers of saris rich in gold and silver threads, resplendent with an array of colors. With such intricacy of product, I expected to see some elaborate system of machines that would boggle the mind in production. But this image could not have been farther from the real scene.

Each sari was made individually by a father and son team. The father sat above the son on a platform, surrounded by several spools of thread that he would gather into his fingers. The son had only one task. At a nod from his father, he would move the shuttle from one side to the other and back again. This would then be repeated for hundreds of hours, until a magnificent pattern began to emerge.

 

The son certainly had the easier task. He was only to move at the father’s nod. But making use of these efforts, the father was working to an intricate end. All along, he had the design in his mind and was bringing the right threads together.

The more I reflect on my own life and study the lives of others, I am fascinated to see the design God has for each one of us individually, if we would only respond. All through our days, little reminders show the threads that God has woven into our lives.

Allow me to share a story from my own experience. As one searching for meaning in the throes of a turbulent adolescence, I found myself on a hospital bed from an attempted suicide. It was there that I was read the 14th chapter of John’s Gospel. My attention was fully captured by the part where Jesus says to his disciples: “Because I live, you shall live also” (John 14:19). I turned my life over to Christ that day, committing my pains, struggles, and pursuits to his able hands.

 

Almost thirty years to the day after this decision, my wife and I were visiting India and decided to visit my grandmother’s grave. With the help of a gardener we walked through the accumulated weeds and rubble until we found the stone marking her grave. With his bucket of water and a small brush, the gardener cleared off the years of caked-on dirt. To our utter surprise, under her name, a verse gradually appeared. My wife clasped my hand and said, “Look at the verse!” It read: “Because I live, you shall live also.”

A purposeful design emerges when the Father weaves a pattern from what to us may often seem disparate threads. Even today, if you will stop and attend to it, you will see that God is seeking to weave a beautiful tapestry in your life.

 

Ravi Zacharias is founder and chairman of the board of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries.

 

(1) This essay also appears in Ravi Zacharias’s The Logic of God, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2019).

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Joyce Meyer – Be Excellent

 

Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men. — Colossians 3:23 (AMPC)

Adapted from the resource My Time with God – by Joyce Meyer

Being excellent simply means that we do the best we can with what we have. God is excellent, and He’s called us to be excellent, too, so we should never be satisfied to do only what we have to do in order to get by. We should always go the extra mile and do an excellent job at whatever we need to do (see Matthew 5:41).

Mediocrity seems to be normal in society today, but it isn’t God’s will for us as His children. If we’re going to do a job, we can and should give it our best. We can take excellent care of all that we have, treat people as valuable and choose to keep an excellent attitude, realizing that everywhere we go, we represent God. And do you want to know what really pleases God? When you do your best not only when people are watching, but when nobody is watching. God sees everything we do for Him and for others, and He’s faithful to reward us.

Prayer Starter: Father, please help me be an excellent person who brings glory to You in everything I do and everywhere I go. Thank You for giving me what I need to live in integrity and honesty! In Jesus’ Name, amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – He Will Take Care of Us

 

“He will take care of the helpless and poor when they cry to Him; for they have no one else to defend them” (Psalm 72:12). 

Some time ago, a French tourist set out to cross St. Bernard’s Pass by himself. When he got caught in the fog near the top, he sat on a rock and waited for one of the famous St. Bernard dogs, which have rescued thousands of lost travelers, to come and attend to him. But none came.

When the fog cleared away, he managed to reach the hospice. There he let it be known that he thought the dog a rather overrated animal.

“There I was,” he said, “for at least six hours, and not one came near me.” “But why,” exclaimed one of the monks, “did you not ring us up on the telephone?”

Then he explained to the astonished tourist that the whole of the pass is provided with shelters at short distances from each other – all in direct phone communication with the hospice. When the bell rings, the monks send off a dog loaded with bread, wine and other comforts.

The dog goes straight to the proper shelter. The system saves the hounds their former duty of patrolling the pass on the chance of a stray traveler being found, and as the pass is under deep snow for about eight months of the year, this entailed hard and often fruitless labor.

Many people in need of spiritual help have not yet realized there is One who will hear and answer directly the troubled cries for help.

Bible Reading: Psalm 72:13-19

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Remembering that we “have not because we ask not,” I’ll remember to call on a kind heavenly Father today and whenever I have a need.

 

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – God Is Not Far From Us

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

You will never go where God is not.  Envision the next few hours—where will you be?  In a school?  God indwells the classroom.  On the highway?  His presence lingers among the traffic. In the operating room, the executive boardroom, the in-laws’ living room?  God will be there.

Acts 17:27 says, “He is not far from each of us.”  Each of us.  God doesn’t play favorites.  From the masses on city streets to isolated villagers in valleys and jungles, all people can enjoy God’s presence.  But many don’t.  They plod through life as if there is no God to love them.  As if the only strength is their own.  As if the only solution will come from within, not above.  They live God-less lives.  The psalmist determined, “When I am afraid, I will trust in You, God.”  Put your hope in God. 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 – A doctor saves the man who saved him: The best way to treat every person we meet

Dr. Rick Pitera is an anesthesiologist at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey. Five years ago, he had a heart attack that led to a long recovery through physical therapy. His exercise therapist in the cardiac rehabilitation unit was named Danny Radice. The two worked together for several difficult weeks.

“He helped me get my life back,” Pitera said. “It’s not hyperbole to say I owe Dan my life.”

This March, coronavirus overwhelmed St. Barnabas with the state’s second-highest number of COVID-19 cases. One of them was Danny Radice. This time, it was Pitera who worked tirelessly to save Radice. After more than six days on a ventilator, Radice survived and finally left the hospital on April 17.

Before he left, however, Pitera took a selfie with him. The doctor had returned the favor by saving his friend’s life.

The couple who helped launch our ministry 

Much of the news this week has been dominated by the tragic death of Ahmaud Arbery and issues related to racial prejudice. On Monday, we discussed God’s ability to forgive every sin we confess, including racial discrimination, and to give us a “clean heart” (Psalm 51:10). Yesterday we focused on our side of this process and the need for greater awareness, cross-racial relationships, and commitment to systemic change.

Today, let’s broaden our discussion to focus on a lifestyle of relational inclusivity. My suggestion is this: treat every person you meet as though you will meet them again.

It may be that you save a life and then this person saves yours. Or it may be that your influence on them and theirs on you extends even into eternity.

In August 1973, two men knocked on my apartment door and invited me to ride their bus to their church. They could not have known that I would one day become the youth minister of their church and that one of their daughters would be in my youth ministry.

In September 1980, I was a lonely college freshman when the chairman of the Christianity department befriended me. He could not have known that one day I would speak at his funeral.

A few years into my pastorate in Dallas, a couple who was visiting our church asked my wife and me to dinner. We could not have known that they would eventually help us launch the ministry we have led for the last eleven years.

When coincidence is providence 

John 4 tells one of my favorite stories from the life of Jesus. Here we find his humanity and his divinity both on display in a remarkable balance.

Continue reading Denison Forum – A doctor saves the man who saved him: The best way to treat every person we meet