Charles Stanley – Why Does God Allow Storms in Our Life?

 

Jonah 1:1-17

No one likes turbulent times, but until we reach heaven, they will be a part of our life. The underlying foundation for understanding the storms we encounter is found in Psalm 103:19. No matter what the apparent source is, God ultimately directs every situation, because His sovereignty rules over all.

He uses storms to …

Bring us to repentance. Sometimes we create chaotic conditions with our own sinful choices. Yet like Jonah, we’ll discover that the Lord is always with us—even in our disobedience—drawing us back to Himself.

Grow us spiritually. Trials force us to rely on God’s strength rather than our own. We learn to endure, persevere, and submit to the Father so He can make us more like Christ.

Reveal Himself to us. Turbulent times give us a more accurate perspective of God and the way He works. Sometimes this understanding comes when we look back on a storm and see how He brought us through. Then we realize His strength was sufficient and His purpose was good.

Take comfort in knowing that God controls your storms, and His mighty power and unfailing love govern whatever comes your way.

Bible in One Year: Nehemiah 8-10

 

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Our Daily Bread — Good Measure

 

Bible in a Year:

Give, and it will be given to you.

Luke 6:38

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Luke 6:32–38

At a gas station one day, Staci encountered a woman who had left home without her bank card. Stranded with her baby, she was asking passersby for help. Although unemployed at the time, Staci spent $15 to put gas in the stranger’s tank. Days later, Staci came home to find a gift basket of children’s toys and other presents waiting on her porch. Friends of the stranger had reciprocated Staci’s kindness and converted her $15 blessing into a memorable Christmas for her family.

This heartwarming story illustrates the point Jesus made when he said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38).

It can be tempting to hear this and focus on what we get out of giving, but doing so would miss the point. Jesus preceded that statement with this one: “Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked” (v. 35).

We don’t give to get things; we give because God delights in our generosity. Our love for others reflects His loving heart toward us.

By:  Remi Oyedele

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – The Beginning and the End

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me if you understand.”

—God to Job in the whirlwind

To a child of four or five, the rejoinder sounded something like the response of a parent who had reached the end of her rope with the current line of questioning.

“Mom, what happens when we die?”

“We go to heaven to be with Jesus.”

“What’s heaven like?”

“It’s a place where all of our tears are dried up, and we dance on golden streets in the presence of God.”

“For how long?”

“Forever.”

“But won’t we get tired of dancing?”

“No, we won’t.”

“But why not?”

“Because we’ll be with God.”

“But what if it’s boring?”

“It won’t be.”

“Why?”

“Because God said so.”

A child learns quickly that there are certain lines parents use to signal the end of the current arsenal of questioning. Coming from a parent, “Because I said so” is intended to be a conversation stopper. “Because God said so” is even trickier. There was nothing my five-year-old mind could even begin to conjure up to counter that one.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – The Beginning and the End

Joyce Meyer – Like a Child

 

[Jesus] called a little child to Himself and put him in the midst of them, And said, Truly I say to you, unless you repent (change, turn about) and become like little children [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving], you can never enter the kingdom of heaven [at all]. Whoever will humble himself therefore and become like this little child [trusting, lowly, loving, forgiving] is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. — Matthew 18:2-4 (AMPC)

Adapted from the resource New Day, New You – by Joyce Meyer

In Luke 18:17 (AMPC), Jesus talked about the importance of being childlike when He said,

Truly I say to you, whoever does not accept and receive and welcome the kingdom of God like a little child [does] shall not in any way enter it [at all].

As we can see, The Amplified Classic Bible translation of Matthew 18:3 states that the defining attributes of a child are these: trustinglowlyloving, and forgiving. How much more would we enjoy our lives if we operated in those four traits? Think about it: Children believe what they are told. Some people say children are gullible, or that they believe anything, no matter how ridiculous it sounds. But children are not gullible—they are trusting. It is a child’s nature to trust unless he or she has experienced something that teaches them otherwise.

Another thing we can all see in children is that they enjoy life. A child can find a way to enjoy almost anything. A child can turn work into a game, so they can enjoy it. I remember one time when I asked my son (who was about 11 or 12 at the time) to sweep the patio. Not long after, I looked outside and saw him dancing with the broom to the music playing on the headset he was wearing. I thought, Amazing! He’s managed to turn sweeping into a game. If he had to do it, he was determined to enjoy it. We should all have that attitude. We may not choose to dance with a broom, but we can choose an attitude of enjoying each moment in a new way.

Prayer Starter: Holy Spirit, please teach me and help me become more childlike in the way I trust You, and in the way I enjoy my life. Thank You for strengthening my faith and restoring my sense of fun. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Real Life, Radiant Health

 

“I have been crucified with Christ; and I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the real life I now have within this body is a result of my trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

George Muller was asked the secret of his fruitful service for the Lord. “There was a day when I died,” he said, “utterly died.”

As he spoke, he bent lower and lower until he almost touched the floor.

“I died to George Muller,” he continued, “his opinions, preferences, tastes and will – died to the world, its approval or censure – died to the approval or blame even of my brethren and friends – and since then I have studied only to show myself approved unto God.”

With that kind of obedience to God and His inspired Word, it is small wonder that that great man of faith, George Muller, saw God perform miracle after miracle in his behalf, helping to support hundreds and even thousands of orphans simply by trusting God to provide.

Men and women of the world today would pay literally millions of dollars for the real life and radiant health promised in Proverbs 4:20-22 to the believer for simple faith and trust in God. “Listen, son of mine, to what I say. Listen carefully. Keep these thoughts ever in mind; let them penetrate deep within your heart, for they will mean real life for you, and radiant health.” To me, these verses encourage reading, studying, memorizing and meditating upon the Word of God.

Being crucified with Christ and hiding His Word in our hearts will not only keep us from sin, but it will also promote real life and radiant health for us, which we will want to share with others.

Bible Reading: Proverbs 4:23-27, 5:1-2

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: By faith, I will recognize that I have been crucified with Christ and will keep His thoughts in my mind throughout this day, meditating on His promises and faithfulness.

 

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – Your Mess Will Become Your Message

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

I like the conversation Bob Benson recounts in his book, See You at the House, about his friend who had a heart attack.  For a while it seemed his friend wouldn’t make it, but he recovered.  Months later Bob asked him, “Well, how did you like your heart attack?”  “It scared me to death, almost.”  “Would you do it again?”  “No!”  “Would you recommend it?” Bob asked.  “Definitely not.”

And then Bob said, “Does your life mean more to you now than it did before?”  “Well, yeah.”  “You and your wife always had a beautiful marriage, but are you closer now more than ever?” “Yes.”  “Do you have a new compassion for people—a deeper understanding and sympathy?” “Yes, I do.”  “Do you know the Lord in richer fellowship than you’d ever realized?”  “Yes.”  And then Bob said, “So how did you like your heart attack?”

You know Deuteronomy 11:2 says, “Remember what you’ve learned about the Lord through your experience with Him.”  You do that, my friend, and your mess will become your message.

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 – The death of George Floyd and confrontation in Central Park: Praying for a Pentecost miracle today

George Floyd was born in North Carolina and moved to Houston as a baby. He grew into a talented athlete who played football and basketball, receiving a basketball scholarship to Florida State University.

According to the mother of his six-year-old daughter, he didn’t finish school, eventually returning to Houston, where he became involved in music. He left the city for Minneapolis around 2018.

“Being black in America should not be a death sentence” 

On Monday, police officers responded to a “forgery in progress.” A police statement says they were “advised that the suspect was sitting on top of a blue car and appeared to be under the influence. Two officers arrived and located the suspect, an African American male believed to be in his 40s, in his car. He was ordered to step out of his car.

“After he got out, he physically resisted officers. Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress. Officers called for an ambulance.”

However, the police statement left out a scene recorded by a bystander that has shocked the nation: a Minneapolis police officer keeps his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck for eight minutes, during which the unarmed man repeatedly cried out, “I can’t breathe!”

“Please, please, I can’t breathe. Please, man, please,” Mr. Floyd said to the officer. “I can’t move. Everything hurts. Give me some water or something, please. I can’t breathe, officer.” As the officer continued to crush his neck with his knee, Mr. Floyd added, “They’re going to kill me. They’re going to kill me, man.”

An ambulance then took Mr. Floyd to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

By Tuesday afternoon, the four officers involved had been fired. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called Mr. Floyd’s death “simply awful” and “wrong at every level.” He stated: “This man’s life matters, he matters. He was someone’s son, someone’s family member, someone’s friend. He was a human being and his life mattered.”

The mayor added: “Being black in America should not be a death sentence.”

“A punch in the gut for a lot of people” 

Christian Cooper is a Harvard graduate who serves on the board of the New York City Audubon Society and has long been a prominent bird watcher in New York City.

Continue reading Denison Forum – The death of George Floyd and confrontation in Central Park: Praying for a Pentecost miracle today