Charles Stanley – Sunday Reflection: Our Longing for Eternity

 

Think of a time when you’ve deeply longed for something. Maybe you wished to live somewhere else or felt restless in your job or schoolwork. Or perhaps you were deeply anxious to grow your family, as so many in the Bible were. (See Gen. 11:30; Gen. 25:21.) How did you respond? Did you pray for change, escape through temporary satisfaction, or seek support from your friends and loved ones?

As you contemplate your deep yearnings, remember that one longing God has put on your heart transcends all earthly desires: the longing for eternity.  Keep in mind His words to the prophet Isaiah: “Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you” (Isa. 55:3). The Lord calls each of us to everlasting life in Him.

Think about it
• Looking ahead to that eternal promise of redemption, what can you do today—in addition to deepening your prayer life—in order to draw closer to God? Consider things you could start doing as well as things you could give up.

  •  What would it take to have all your longing and restlessness satisfied?

Bible in One Year: 2 Chronicles 21-23

 

 

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Our Daily Bread — What’s in a Name?

 

Bible in a Year:

[Jesus] was the son, so it was thought, of Joseph.

Luke 3:23

Today’s Scripture & Insight: Luke 3:31; 1 Chronicles 3:4–9

In God’s timing, our son Kofi was born on a Friday, which is exactly what his name means—boy born on Friday. We named him after a Ghanaian friend of ours, a pastor whose only son died. He prays for our Kofi constantly. We’re deeply honored.

It’s easy to miss the significance in a name if you don’t know the story behind it. In Luke 3, we find a fascinating detail about a name in the ancestry of Joseph. The genealogy traces Joseph’s line backward all the way to Adam and even to God (v. 38). In verse 31 we read: “the son of Nathan, the son of David.” Nathan? That’s interesting. In 1 Chronicles 3:5 we learn that Nathan was born to Bathsheba.

Is it coincidence that David named Bathsheba’s child Nathan? Recall the backstory. Bathsheba was never supposed to be David’s wife. Another Nathan—the prophet—bravely confronted the king for abusing his authority to exploit Bathsheba and murder her husband (see 2 Samuel 12).

David accepted the prophet’s point-blank rebuke and repented of his horrific offenses. With the healing passage of time, he would name his son Nathan. How appropriate that this was Bathsheba’s son, and that he would be one of the ancestors of Joseph, Jesus’ earthly dad (Luke 3:23).

In the Bible, we keep finding God’s grace woven into everything—even into an obscure name in a seldom-read genealogy. God’s grace is everywhere.

By:  Tim Gustafson

 

 

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Streams in the Desert for Kids – A-Mazed

 

Ecclesiastes 7:13

Have you ever been in a maze—the real kind that’s made out of hedges and paths? There’s one at a palace in England called Chatsworth House. It is a very complicated maze. Every hedge is the same height so there are no identifying features to help you even go back the way you went in.

It could be frightening to get into a maze and not be able to find your way out. Life is like that sometimes. We find ourselves in situations where we don’t know where to turn, and when we do make a choice of which way to go, it ends up being the wrong way. It’s scary when our situation gets worse and worse. But there is someone who knows every turn, every path of our life. Jesus is that someone, and he came to guide us through life. When you are confused and don’t know which way to turn or which decision is best, you can rely on Jesus to lead you. Isn’t a relief to know you don’t have to make decisions on your own? Ask for his guidance and wait patiently for him to show you the way out of your problems.

Dear Lord, Sometimes I really get mixed up when I’m trying to make decisions about my life. Please guide me and help me to listen for your voice telling me the right way to go. Amen.

Joyce Meyer – Praise Him

 

Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name. — Hebrews 13:15 (AMPC)

Adapted from the resource The Power of Being Thankful – by Joyce Meyer

Ever heard the statement, “There’s power in praise!”? It’s actually true! When we praise God from our hearts, we release power in the spiritual realm, because God Himself lives in the praises of His people (see Psalm 22:3).

Praise is remembering and expressing our joy and thanks for all God has done, is doing, and will do for us. It invites His presence and redirects our hearts and words to focus on Him.

We do this because we love God, and also because praise and gratefulness are attitudes that God delights in. Choosing to praise Him in the middle of hard circumstances—and to thank Him for the ways He’s been faithful before—open the door for His presence to come, and for His power to begin working on our behalf.

Prayer Starter: Jesus, I praise You because You deserve it. Thank You for all the ways You’ve taken care of me, are watching out for me, and will continue to in the future. I love You, and I want to honor You with everything I am and everything I have. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Freedom From Fear

 

“He does not fear bad news, nor live in dread of what may happen. For he is settled in his mind that Jehovah will take care of him” (Psalm 112:7).

Sarah was a hypochondriac, a bundle of nerves, plagued by all kinds of fears – fears that she would become ill, fears that she would have an accident, fears that something would happen to her husband or children or that they would experience financial reverses. Her every conversation was negative. And of course, her attitude alienated her from others, and the more isolated she found herself, the more fearful she became.

Completely absorbed with her own problems, she was seriously thinking of committing suicide when a Christian couple moved in next door to her. They began to demonstrate the love of God and share the good news of His forgiveness in Jesus Christ. Few people had taken an interest in Sarah, but this godly, Christian couple, especially Mary, the wife, embraced her with understanding compassion and a loving heart.

Together they began to study the Bible and after a brief time, Sarah received Christ and began to grow as a Christian. She began to memorize Scripture and took great delight in hiding large quantities of the Word in her heart. Now her mind and her conversation were saturated with the things of God – His attributes, His holiness, His love – and His promises became a joyful reality to her.

A year had passed when one day she remarked to me with great enthusiasm, “I have been liberated. Christ has set me free. I seldom think of my own problems anymore, but find my mind absorbed with God and His truth, and how I might reach out in love and compassion to others as Mary reached out to me in my deepest need.”

Sarah was no longer afraid. The fears that had plagued her were gone, because it was settled in her mind that Jehovah would take care of her and her family. No matter what happened, she knew that she could trust a loving, gracious, holy, righteous God, who had become her very real heavenly Father. Jesus Christ had become more real to her than her own flesh and blood.

Bible Reading: Psalm 112:1-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will seek to know more and more about my Lord by hiding His Word in my heart and meditating upon His many attributes. For I am convinced that He will watch over me, protect and care for me so that nothing can happen to me that He does not allow for my good.

 

 

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