Charles Stanley – May 24, 2020

 

Sunday Reflection: The Transformation of Our Desires

In John 6, a massive crowd has been following Jesus, and He miraculously feeds them by turning a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish into food for 5,000 people (John 6:9-13). The crowd recognizes that a prophet like Moses has been raised (John 6:14; Deut. 18:15), and the next day they continue to seek after Him—perhaps hoping to see more miracles or be fed in abundance yet again.

He challenges them, saying, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst” (John 6:35). They are excited that He can take away their hunger and free them from starvation, but they haven’t thought about the promise of salvation—of everlasting life in Him. Let us remember, then, that Jesus wants to do more than just fill us with food and offer us earthly comfort; He wants to transform our desires.

Think about it
•  Throughout this chapter, Jesus uses eating and drinking to speak about belief in Him. How can these ordinary practices remind us of our faith in Christ?

  •  What does it mean to pursue the “food” of eternal life?

Bible in One Year: Ezra 5-7

 

 

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Our Daily Bread — Talking Tables

 

Bible in a Year:

Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.

Acts 2:46

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Acts 2:42–47

Loneliness is one of the greatest threats to our sense of well-being, affecting our health through our behaviors on social media, food consumption, and the like. One study suggests that nearly two-thirds of all people—regardless of age or gender—feel lonely at least some of the time. One British supermarket has created “talking tables” in their store cafés as a way to foster connection between people. Those looking for human interaction simply seat themselves at a table designated for that purpose, joining others or indicating a desire to be joined. Conversation ensues, providing a sense of connection and community.

The people of the early church were committed to shared connection too. Without each other, they would likely have felt very alone in the practice of their faith, which was still new to the world. Not only did they “[devote] themselves to the apostles’ teaching” to learn what following Jesus meant, they also “[met] together in the temple courts” and “broke bread in their homes” for mutual encouragement and fellowship (Acts 2:4246).

We need human connection; God designed us that way! Painful seasons of loneliness point to that need. Like the people of the early church, it’s important for us to engage in the human companionship our well-being requires and to offer it to those around us who also need it.

By:  Kirsten Holmberg

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Lazy Is as Lazy Does

 

Hebrews 6:12

Sometimes it’s interesting to look up a word in the dictionary and see what it really means. “Lazy” means “not easily aroused to activity.” A lazy person just doesn’t want to try very hard. For example, lazy students don’t make much effort in school; they don’t study very hard or do their homework well. They might even try to get someone else to do it for them!

There is something inside all of us that wants to be lazy. But the Bible teaches that we must not be lazy when it comes to our faith. Instead, we need to be willing to make an effort. We are to follow the examples of people in the Bible who demonstrated faith and patience, even when they had problems. That’s how they grew strong spiritually. It’s good advice because being lazy—especially being lazy about prayer and reading our Bibles—in the long run doesn’t feel good. There’s nothing like jumping in, doing a task well, and then feeling the satisfaction of a job well done.

Dear Lord, Help me to be faithful to my work, both at home and in school and help me to remember to pray and read the Bible so that I can be everything you want me to be. Amen.

 

Joyce Meyer – The Fear of Man

 

The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on, trusts in, and puts his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high. — Proverbs 29:25 (AMPC)

Adapted from the resource The Confident Woman – by Joyce Meyer

We’re always faced with two choices: We can live to please other people, or we can live to please God. The apostle Paul made it clear that if he’d been trying to be popular with people, he wouldn’t have chosen to follow Jesus (see Galatians 1:10). God works through men and women who are determined to obey and live for Him, not those who are controlled by the fear of man. We all want to be liked and accepted, but we can’t let that desire run our lives. If it does, we’re guaranteed to reap Henry Swope’s formula for failure, which is “try to please everybody.”

King Saul lost the kingdom of Israel because he allowed his fear of man to cause him to disobey God (see 1 Samuel 13:8–14). As a result, God took the kingdom from Saul and gave it to David, who was a man after His own heart. David did not let people control him the way Saul did. David’s own brother Eliab clearly disapproved of him, but the Bible says that David walked away from Eliab and kept on doing what he was supposed to do (see 1 Samuel 17:28–30). In the same way, we should walk away from the people who try to discourage, control or accuse us. Instead of allowing what they say or think to take root in our hearts, we can choose to move forward into what God has called us to do, knowing that He’s proud of us.

Prayer Starter: Father, please help me not to give in to the fear of what others think about me. Thank You for giving me the strength I need to live to please You first. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Long, Satisfying Life

 

“If you want a long and satisfying life, closely follow my instructions” (Proverbs 3:2).

A famous children’s specialist declared, “When it comes to a serious illness, the child who has been taught to obey has four times the chance of recovery that the spoiled and undisciplined child has.”

Every parent should consider well the implications of that statement. We have all been taught that one of the Ten Commandments was for children to obey their parents.

But it is doubtful that many of us have ever considered that obedience might mean the difference between the saving or losing of a child’s life.

The hymnwriter who said that we should “trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus” well knew what he was saying. A “long and satisfying life” certainly would be synonymous with a “happy life.”

Many Christians have every intention of following God’s instructions – without ever really knowing what those instructions are. That is why it is supremely important for every believer to spend time in God’s Word, the book of instructions for Christians.

Are you one of those who truly want a long satisfying life? Then, are you willing to follow God’s instructions for your life? Are you willing to familiarize yourself thoroughly with His instructions so that you will have no difficulty knowing and following them?

Bible Reading: Proverbs 3:1-8

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will follow closely God’s instructions in order that I may live a long and satisfying life.

 

 

http://www.cru.org