Charles Stanley – Sunday Reflection: Facing Challenges

 

To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.

A few thousand years ago, the young shepherd David stepped forward to fight Goliath. We often speak of this story as a reminder of the young man’s bravery, even when the odds were against him. But David’s bravery—and success—came from His deep faith in God. (See 1 Samuel 17). And this faith helped him go on to become a successful warrior and king.

The Lord gave David many responsibilities during his reign, and he endured numerous trials—some due to his own sin. Through it all, the king returned to God again and again in humble dependence and repeatedly proclaimed his trust in the Lord’s faithfulness.

God calls us to abide in this kind of relationship with Him. In seasons of trial or abundance—and we’ll likely experience both, even simultaneously—we can cling to Him and trust that He is the source of all courage, perseverance, and abiding joy.

THINK ABOUT IT
• What do you do when you’re facing a challenge? How does your relationship with God factor into the choices you make?

  • Does your faith in Christ help you to feel courageous when facing something new, challenging, uncomfortable, or intimidating? Why or why not?

Bible in One Year: Deuteronomy 21-23

 

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — New Every Morning

 

Bible in a Year:

[God’s] compassions never fail. They are new every morning.

Lamentations 3:22–23

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Lamentations 3:19–26

My brother Paul grew up battling severe epilepsy, and when he entered his teenage years it became even worse. Nighttime was excruciating for him and my parents, as he’d experience continuous seizures for often more than six hours at a time. Doctors couldn’t find a treatment that would alleviate the symptoms while also keeping him conscious for at least part of the day. My parents cried out in prayer: “God, oh God, help us!”

Although their emotions were battered and their bodies exhausted, Paul and my parents received enough strength from God for each new day. In addition, my parents found comfort in the words of the Bible, including the book of Lamentations. Here Jeremiah voiced his grief over the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, remembering “the bitterness and the gall” (3:19). Yet Jeremiah didn’t lose hope. He called to mind the mercies of God, that His compassions “are new every morning” (v. 23). So too did my parents.

Whatever you’re facing, know that God is faithful every morning. He renews our strength day by day and gives us hope. And sometimes, as with my family, He brings relief. After several years, a new medication became available that stopped Paul’s continuous nighttime seizures, giving my family restorative sleep and hope for the future.

When our souls are downcast within us (v. 20), may we call to mind the promises of God that His mercies are new every morning.

By:  Amy Boucher Pye

Reflect & Pray

How has God sustained you through the trials you’ve faced? How could you support someone who’s enduring a challenging time?

God, Your love will never leave me. When I feel spent and without hope, remind me of Your mercies and compassion.

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Joyce Meyer – Bearing Good Fruit

 

When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine.

— John 15:8 (AMPC)

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

Our lives are not given to us for us to waste them—God wants us to bear good fruit with our time on earth. Doing good, being creative, helping others, finishing goals, and other things like this give me an awesome feeling of accomplishment. On the other hand, when I waste a day doing nothing, feeling sorry for myself, being angry or lazy, that doesn’t feel good at all.

I’m not saying that we need to spend all of our time working, but we should be productive on a regular basis. Praying for others as we go about our day is productive. Being friendly and encouraging people is a simple way to bear good fruit. One day when I went to the hospital to visit my mother, a young woman was in her room administering a heart test. She had lovely skin and hair and a beautiful smile, and she was very kind. Instead of just thinking these things, I told her that she was really pretty. The look on her face let me know that she didn’t hear it nearly often enough, and that it made her feel really good about herself.

It’s easy to focus on people’s flaws and totally miss the good things about them, but we don’t have to be that way—we can decide to bear good fruit by making a big deal out of each good thing we notice about people. You and I have the power to make someone else’s day awesome by being God’s voice and letting them hear through us the good things He sees in them. Make today—and every day—a special day by bearing good fruit that honors God and shows His love to people.

Prayer Starter Father, please teach me how to bear good fruit today; show me opportunities to show Your love to people. Thank You for the gift of life, and for helping me seize every moment. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –Where Is Your Hope?

 

My hope is from him.

 Psalm 62:5

It is the believer’s privilege to use this language. If he is looking for anything from the world, it is a poor hope indeed. But if he looks to God for the supply of his needs, whether temporal or spiritual blessings, his hope will not be in vain. He may constantly draw from the bank of faith and get his need supplied out of the riches of God’s loving-kindness. I know this: I would rather have God for my banker than all the Rothschilds.

My Lord never fails to honor His promises; and when we bring them to His throne, He never sends them back unanswered. Therefore I will wait only at His door, for He always opens it with the hand of abundant grace. At this hour I will turn to Him afresh.

But we have “hope” beyond this life. We will die soon; and still our “hope is from him.” May we not expect that when we face illness He will send angels to carry us to His bosom? We believe that when the pulse is faint and the heart is weak, some angelic messenger shall stand and look with loving eyes upon us and whisper, “Come away!” As we approach the heavenly gate, we expect to hear the welcome invitation, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”1 We are expecting harps of gold and crowns of glory; we are hoping soon to be among the company of shining ones before the throne; we are looking forward and longing for the time when we shall be like our glorious Lord—for “We shall see him as he is.”2

Then if these are your hopes, O my soul, live for God; live with the desire and resolve to glorify Him from whose grace in your election, redemption, and calling you safely ”hope” for the coming glory.

1) Matthew 25:34
2) 1 John 3:2

One-Year Bible Reading Plan

 

 

http://www.truthforlife.org

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Thinks About His Own

 

“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.” (Psalm 139:17-18)

When Heather was little, her family would go camping at the beach. They stayed in tents and cooked over an open fire. Every day, Heather and her twin brother Mitch would go swimming in the ocean! They had so much fun playing in the water, walking along the beach, and, of course, playing in the sand. Mitch and Heather built too many sand castles to count, and one time they even built a car made of sand! Sometimes, Heather wondered if it was possible to count all the grains of sand on that beach. She tried once to count just a bucket full of sand, but as you can imagine, she gave that up quickly! Why? Even in a single bucket, there was way too much sand to count!

The Bible says that God’s thoughts about His people are more in number than the sand. Imagine counting all the piles of sand on a beach. It would be hard to count all the piles of sand on just one single beach. Now imagine trying to count all the piles of sand on all the beaches of the world! Even more incredible is the thought of trying to count every single grain of sand in every pile of sand on every beach in the world! In our wildest imaginations, we could not pretend to understand a number that big!

Like Heather, we would probably give up counting before we got through just one small bucket of sand. The numbers are just too much. Those kinds of numbers are exactly how the Bible describes how many thoughts God has toward His people.

Not only are God’s thoughts toward His own countless, but they are also precious thoughts. That means He cherishes His people and that He plans only good things to do for them, and through them. Here on Earth, we may sometimes feel forgotten or left out, but we can always go back to God’s Word and remember that God is thinking precious thoughts about us!

Psalm 139 speaks of how closely God pays attention to those whom He created, and especially how He feels about people who trust Him and obey Him by His grace. There are many other Bible verses that describe how countless and wonderful God’s thoughts are toward His own. Psalm 40:5 says, “Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.”

What a great and good God He is!

God’s thoughts toward His people are countless and precious.

My Response:
» Is it easy to imagine how many grains of sand there are on a beach?
» Is it easy for me to believe that God thinks about those who trust and obey Him?
» How should it help me to remember that God thinks so often and so favorably toward His own?

Read in browser »

 

Home Page

Charles Stanley – Resurrection: Our New Body

 

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Scripture uses beautiful imagery to describe the return of Christ. Today’s passage, for example, says at the Lord’s shout and the sounding of a trumpet, the “dead in Christ” will emerge from their resting places and soar into the sky (1 Thessalonians 4:16). Close behind them will be believers who haven’t yet departed this life. They’ll be changed as they are “caught up … to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

Earthly flesh and bones age, lose vitality, and succumb to sin. So God promised that the body of every believer would be transformed into a glorious one like Christ’s after His resurrection. In heaven, we will no longer have to deal with temptations or limitations of our present time-bound existence. Perhaps we won’t even be restricted by space, since John 20:19 indicates that the resurrected Jesus didn’t bother with doors! Our new bodies will be suited for the environment where we are to dwell forever—an ageless eternity in which all of our needs are perfectly met.

Each believer will still be him- or herself. Friends and family long separated will recognize one another; our personalities will be unchanged, except that we’ll be sinless. And from then on, we will each be who God intends for us to be.

Bible in One Year: Deuteronomy 18-20

 

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — No Longer Yourself

 

Bible in a Year:

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Galatians 2:14–21

In the summer of 1859, Monsieur Charles Blondin became the first person to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope—something he would go on to do hundreds of times. Once he did it with his manager Harry Colcord on his back. Blondin gave Colcord these instructions: “Look up, Harry . . . you are no longer Colcord, you are Blondin. . . . If I sway, sway with me. Do not attempt to do any balancing yourself. If you do, we will both go to our death.”

Paul, in essence, said to the Galatian believers: You can’t walk the line of living a life that is pleasing to God apart from faith in Christ. But here’s the good news—you don’t have to! No amount of attempting to earn our way to God will ever cut it. So are we passive in our salvation? No! Our invitation is to cling to Christ. Clinging to Jesus means putting to death an old, independent way of living; it’s as if we ourselves have died. Yet, we go on living. But “the life [we] now live in the body, [we] live by faith in the Son of God, who loved [us] and gave himself for [us]” (Galatians 2:20).

Where are we trying to walk the tightrope today? God hasn’t called us to walk out on the rope to Him; He’s called us to cling to Him and walk this life with Him.

By:  Glenn Packiam

Reflect & Pray

How can you stop trying to please God on your own? Where do you need to cling to Jesus today, trusting His righteousness?

Dear Jesus, thank You for doing for me what I could never do for myself. I turn away from trying to please You on my own. I’m so glad I don’t need to earn Your love.

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Grace to You; John MacArthur – Attaining Spiritual Stability

 

“Strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience” (Col. 1:11).

God always empowers you to do what He commands you to do.

An alarming number of Christians seem to lack spiritual stability. Many are “carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming” (Eph. 4:14). Others lack moral purity. Many are driven by their emotions rather than sound thinking. Increasingly, therapists and psychologists are replacing pastors and biblical teachers as the heroes of the faith. While we still proclaim a sovereign, all- powerful God, our conduct often belies our creed.

Despite our inconsistences, the power for spiritual stability is ours in Christ as we allow the knowledge of His will to control our lives. Paul describes the working of that power in Colossians 1:11. There the Greek words translated “strengthened” and “power” speak of inherent power that gives one the ability to do something.

The phrase “according to” indicates that the power for spiritual stability is proportional to God’s abundant supply—and it is inexhaustible! The literal Greek says you are being “empowered with all power according to the might of His glory.” That thought is akin to Philippians 2:12-13, where Paul says that the power for working out your salvation comes from God, who is at work in you to will and to work for His good pleasure.

In Colossians 1:11 the result of God’s enabling is “the attaining of all steadfastness and patience.” “Steadfastness” speaks of endurance regarding people; “patience” speaks of endurance regarding things or circumstances. When you are steadfast and patient, you are spiritually stable. Your responses are biblical, thoughtful, and calculated; not worldly, emotional, or uncontrolled. You bear up under trials because you understand God’s purposes and trust His promises.

Paul said, “Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might” (Eph. 6:10). That is possible when you trust God and rely on the infinite power that is yours in Christ.

Suggestions for Prayer

Perhaps you know someone who is struggling with spiritual instability. Pray for him or her and ask God to use you as a source of encouragement.

For Further Study

Psalm 18 is a psalm of victory that David wrote after God delivered him from Saul. Read it, then answer these questions:

  • What characteristics of God did David mention?
  • How might those characteristics apply to situations you are facing?

 

 

http://www.gty.org/

Joyce Meyer – Don’t Be Afraid to Be Yourself!

 

He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.

— Psalm 33:15 (NKJV)

Adapted from the resource Love Out Loud – by Joyce Meyer

God created everything about you to be unique, and He wants you to build an honest relationship with Him based on who you really are, not who you think you should be, or who other people say you should be.

We relate to God as individuals. When we talk to God, we’re not supposed to leave our individuality at the door of our prayer closet. We need to go to Him just the way we are, because that gives Him the pleasure of enjoying the company of the “original” He has made each one of us to be. God enjoys meeting us where we are, developing a personal relationship with us, and helping us grow into the fullness of everything He wants us to be.

Our verse for today teaches us that God has fashioned our hearts individually. As we develop our individual styles of communication with God, we can learn from people who are more experienced than we are, but we need to be careful not to make them our standard.

Most people are afraid to not be like everyone else; many are more comfortable following established rules than daring to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading. When we follow man-made rules, we please people, but when we step out and follow God’s Spirit, we please Him. So remember, come as you are!

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You that my relationship with You doesn’t have to look like anyone else’s. Help me remember that I can always come to You as I am, without trying to be perfect. Thank You for Your grace to grow today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –Our Quiet Dwelling Place

 

You have made the Lord your dwelling place—the Most High, who is my refuge.

 Psalm 91:9

The Israelites in the wilderness were continually exposed to change. Whenever the pillar of cloud stopped, the tents were pitched; but the next day the morning sun arose, the trumpet sounded, the ark was in motion, and the fiery, cloudy pillar was leading the way through the narrow mountain passes, up the hillsides, or along the arid wastes of the wilderness. They scarcely had time to rest a little before they heard the sound of “Onward! this is not your rest; you must keep journeying onward toward Canaan!” They never stayed for long in one place. Even wells and palm trees could not detain them.

They had an abiding home in their God; His cloudy pillar was their roof, and its flame by night their fireplace. They must go onward from place to place, continually changing, never having time to settle or to say, “Now we are secure; we will stay in this place.” Moses says, “Though we are always changing, Lord, you have been our dwelling-place throughout all generations.”1

The Christian knows no change with regard to God. He may be rich today and poor tomorrow; he may be sick today and well tomorrow; he may be happy today and sad tomorrow—but there is no change regarding his relationship to God. If He loved me yesterday, He loves me today.

My unmoving mansion of rest is my blessed Lord. Even when prospects are few and hopes are squashed and joy is waning, I have lost nothing of what I have in God. He is “my refuge” to which I continually return. I am a pilgrim in the world, but at home in my God. In the earth I wander, but in God I dwell in a quiet dwelling place.

1) Psalm 90:1

One-Year Bible Reading Plan

 

 

http://www.truthforlife.org

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Wants Us To Trust Him

 

“And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.” (John 10: 4-5)

 

Mary had a little lamb, her fleece was white as snow, and everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go. This nursery rhyme meant quite a bit to Mary, because she really did have a lamb that wanted to follow her everywhere. Her father wasn’t exactly a “shepherd,” but he was in charge of a ranch that raised sheep. Mary loved to go with her father whenever he would check on the flocks. One day, he asked Mary if she would like to help him take care of a special little lamb.

 

This little lamb’s mother had died, and the lamb had also been born blind. Mary’s job was to feed the lamb with a bottle every day. She also checked his coat too make sure it was not scratched or dirty. Mary named the lamb “Fluffy.” Soon, Fluffy learned to recognize Mary’s voice. Even though Fluffy was blind, as long as he could hear Mary, he would follow her anywhere she went.

 

Some of the ranch workers would try calling to Fluffy, to see if he would follow them, but he never did. He listened only to Mary, and he really did follow her voice anywhere. Once, Mary and Fluffy even got in trouble with Mary’s mom, because they came walking into the living room where Mary’s mom was having a meeting with some other ladies in the neighborhood!

 

Why do you think Fluffy would follow Mary, but not the ranch workers? Fluffy knew that Mary had been was the one who fed him and took care of him. Fluffy had learned that Mary would never hurt him in any way. Fluffy could tell Mary’s voice apart from any others, and there was no one else he cared to follow. Fluffy was just a lamb, and he was also blind; but he still knew enough to know he belonged to Mary and could trust her care.

 

In chapter 10 of John, Jesus refers to Himself as our Shepherd. As we experience God’s daily love and care for us, we learn that we can trust Him wherever He leads. By reading our Bibles and praying daily, we learn more of Him, which helps our trust grow even stronger. We can grow closer to Him every day, and we can learn to tune out the other influences in our lives that might lead us astray. What a wonderful Shepherd we have!

 

God has daily proven His love and power, and we can rest safely in His care.

 

My Response:

» Am I willing to submit to and follow a loving God?

» How can I draw nearer to God every day?

» How does God’s trustworthiness compare to the other “voices” and desires that call out for me to follow them?

 

Home Page

Denison Forum – What happened this week at Denison Forum?

 

I’m not sure what’s more surprising: what happens every day in the news or the wild temperature fluctuations in Texas. We were at -2° a week ago; we were at 82° a few days ago.

What I do know is that I prefer the latter over the former.

As for this week’s surprising news:

On Monday, as we Texans thawed out, Dr. Denison covered the generosity of athletes like Dak Prescott and celebrities like Matthew McConaughey who donated millions to help Texans in need.

On Tuesday, we witnessed the ingenuity of the criminal mind, as US Customs and Border Patrol seized a forty-four-pound shipment of cocaine-covered corn flakes.

On Wednesday, we awoke to the shocking news that Tiger Woods had suffered serious injuries in a single-vehicle wreck.

On Thursday, Dr. Denison considered the fact that Ryan T. Anderson’s book on the transgender issue can’t be found on Amazon—but works like Mein Kampf and The Unabomber Manifesto can be.

Finally, on Friday, the chocolate company Cadbury has released a commercial featuring a same-sex kiss, and many are calling for its removal. And this is occurring as the US House of Representatives just adopted the Equality Act, which, if it passes the Senate and becomes law, there will be no recourse to religious liberty.

No matter the news of the day or the temperature of the moment, I’m grateful that at least one certainty is always true: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

When the world has you stressed, lean into that fact.

  1. S. Grab your copy of our latest bookwhile you still can.

 

Hear Dr. Denison

Dr. Denison is routinely interviewed on radio shows and podcasts. Here’s where you can hear him from this past week:

As always, you can find Dr. Denison’s archive of interviews here.

What you may have missed

Ryan Denison asks a question we hope won’t incite you: “Why do so many people today seem to be in the business of making people angry?” A new study shows that angry people are easier to deceive.

Steve Yount offered a brief review of Jon Meacham’s book on John Lewis, calling it an “inspiring biography of one of the icons of the Civil Rights Movement.”

Are you “in the book”? Minni Elkins considers an old saying that still matters today.

 

Notable Quotables

  • “The most powerful witness is not the person who has never fallen but the person who is empowered to get back up. That is the person other fallen people see and seek to emulate.” — Jim Denison
  • “There are countless things in this world about which we have every right to be angry. If we want to actually make things better, though, anger cannot be the prism through which we approach our decisions. God has called us and equipped us to be better than that.” —Ryan Denison
  • “What Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors was the idea that they could ‘be like gods’—could set up on their own as if they had created themselves—be their own masters—invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside God, apart from God. And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history—money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery—the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.” — C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Parting thought

Here’s a sneak peek at our next “What does the Bible say about?” article. Only click if you feel lucky.

 

http://www.denisonforum.org/

In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – The Good News About Death

 

1 Corinthians 15:50-58

The Bible teaches that death is only the beginning for believers. God has prepared an eternal home for us, and the condition for entry is clear: Believe that Jesus died for your sins, and receive His forgiveness. Some people consider this narrow-minded and unfair. But God set up that condition for a reason.

Way back in the garden of Eden, the Lord established a rule to protect His creation: Do not disobey Me. Sin was such a serious matter in His eyes that He determined it deserved the death penalty. Yet ever since Adam and Eve’s transgression, we’ve been bound to slip up because we’re flawed human beings. And God knew that. So, to save us from the consequence of sin, He sent His Son to die in our place. Jesus fulfilled the law while taking our punishment. And three days later He rose again.

God promised in His Word that those who receive Jesus as Savior share in His resurrection. When a believer dies, the heavenly gates open, and he or she has the same triumph over death that Jesus did. In other words, when we leave this world, we do not simply disappear. We continue to worship the Lord in heaven.

Bible in One Year: Deuteronomy 15-17

 

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Facing Fear

 

Bible in a Year:

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.

Psalm 56:3

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Psalm 56:3–11

Warren moved to a small town to pastor a church. After his ministry had some initial success, one of the locals turned on him. Concocting a story accusing Warren of horrendous acts, the man took the story to the local newspaper and even printed his accusations on pamphlets to distribute to local residents by mail. Warren and his wife started praying hard. If the lie was believed, their lives would be upended.

King David once experienced something similar. He faced an attack of slander by an enemy. “All day long they twist my words,” he said, “all their schemes are for my ruin” (Psalm 56:5). This sustained assault left him fearful and tearful (v. 8). But in the midst of the battle, he prayed this powerful prayer: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. . . . What can mere mortals do to me?” (vv. 3–4).

David’s prayer can be a model for us today. When I am afraid—in times of fear or accusation, we turn to God. I put my trust in you—we place our battle in God’s powerful hands. What can mere mortals do to me?—facing the situation with Him, we remember how limited the powers against us really are.

The newspaper ignored the story about Warren. For some reason, the pamphlets were never distributed. What battle do you fear today? Talk to God. He’s willing to fight it with you.

By:  Sheridan Voysey

Reflect & Pray

What real fears do you face? How can David’s prayer help you deal with them?

Loving God, I’m afraid—and so today I put my trust in You. What can mere mortals do to me when You’re fighting for me? Thank You for the coming victory.

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Grace to You; John MacArthur – God Is Faithful to Keep Us

 

“Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

God is faithful in forgiving our sins and securing our salvation.

We have learned that God protects us from temptation, but what happens when we don’t rely on God and give in to sin? John has the answer: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). The Lord says in Jeremiah 31:34, “I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” God has promised to forgive, and He is faithful to do so.

God’s faithfulness stands out especially in His preserving His people for glory. He secures our salvation. Paul says, “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6). God will preserve us so that we may be “without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” because He is “faithful” (1 Thess. 5:23-24).

There was once a boy whose dad left him on a downtown street corner and told him to wait there until he returned in about half an hour. But the father’s car broke down, and he could not get to a phone. Five hours went by before the father managed to get back, and he thought his son would be in a state of panic. But when the father returned, the boy was standing in front of the corner dime store, looking in the window and rocking back and forth on his heels. The father threw his arms around him, apologized, and said, “Weren’t you worried? Did you think I was never coming back?” The boy replied, “No, Dad. I knew you were coming. You said you would.”

God is always faithful to His promises. The father in the story was unable to keep his promise because of circumstances out of his control. But God is able to overcome any circumstances to keep His word. With a simple faith like that boy’s, we can always say, “I knew you would do it, God. You said you would.”

Suggestions for Prayer

Ask God for simple faith to trust Him whatever the situation.

For Further Study

David rejoices in God’s faithfulness in Psalm 103. Make a list of all the ways God demonstrates His faithfulness in this psalm.

 

 

http://www.gty.org/

Joyce Meyer – Checks and Balances

 

Great peace have they who love Your law…

— Psalm 119:165 (AMPC)

Adapted from the resource Hearing from God Each Morning – by Joyce Meyer

I’ve written several times about how God will sometimes lead us through circumstances. This is certainly true, but we also need to be balanced in the way we discern God’s will. We shouldn’t only consider circumstances, but we also need peace and wisdom, which are major ways we can hear from God—we should never ignore them. A circumstance might look like an open door, but we shouldn’t walk through the door unless we have peace.

Following circumstances alone can get us into real trouble. Satan can arrange circumstances sometimes as well, but his intentions are always to distract us from God’s will, not to help us find it. Therefore, if we follow circumstances alone without listening for God’s direction through peace, wisdom, or His Word, we can be deceived.

I want to encourage you to develop the habit of doing a quick “inner check” to test the level of peace in your heart before allowing circumstances to lead us. The safest way to hear from God is to combine biblical methods of being led by the Spirit and allow them to serve as checks and balances for one another. It’s always best to consider the whole counsel of God’s Word, not merely trying to find portions of it that agree with what you already want to do.

When you take God’s Word in context, looking through it for wisdom, watching the peace level of your heart, and listening for the Holy Spirit’s voice, He’ll guide you into all truth (see John 16:13).

Prayer Starter: Father, please teach me the right way to discern what to do, and how to allow peace, wisdom, circumstances and Your Word to guide me. Thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit to lead me in every moment. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –God’s Work in Salvation

 

Salvation belongs to the Lord!

 Jonah 2:9

Salvation is the work of God. It is He alone who quickens the soul “dead in…trespasses and sins,”1 and He it is who maintains the soul in its spiritual life. He is both “Alpha and Omega.”

“Salvation belongs to the LORD!” If I am prayerful, God makes me prayerful; if I have graces, they are God’s gifts to me; if I hold on in a consistent life, it is because He upholds me with His hand. I do nothing whatever toward my own preservation, except what God Himself first does in me. Whatever I have, all my goodness is of the Lord alone. Whenever I sin, that is my own doing; but when I act correctly, that is wholly and completely of God. If I have resisted a spiritual enemy, the Lord’s strength nerved my arm.

Do I live before men a consecrated life? It is not I, but Christ who lives in me. Am I sanctified? I did not cleanse myself: God’s Holy Spirit sanctifies me. Am I separated from the world? I am separated by God’s chastisements sanctified to my good. Do I grow in knowledge? The great Instructor teaches me. All my jewels were fashioned by heavenly art. I find in God all that I want; but I find in myself nothing but sin and misery. “He only is my rock and my salvation.”2

Do I feed on the Word? That Word would be no food for me unless the Lord made it food for my soul and helped me to feed upon it. Do I live on the bread that comes down from heaven? What is that bread but Jesus Christ Himself incarnate, whose body and whose blood I eat and drink? Am I continually receiving fresh supplies of strength? Where do I gather my might? My help comes from heaven’s hills: Without Jesus I can do nothing.

As a branch cannot bring forth fruit except it abide in the vine, no more can I, except I abide in Him. What Jonah learned in the ocean, let me learn this morning in my room: “Salvation belongs to the LORD.”

1) Ephesians 2:1
2) Psalm 62:2

One-Year Bible Reading Plan

 

 

http://www.truthforlife.org

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Holds Everything Together

 

“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do not appear.” (Hebrews 11:3)

Did you ever wonder what holds this world together? Why don’t we fall apart as we walk around? Why don’t the planets spin out of their orbits? What keeps the sun (a huge flaming ball of gases) all together instead of splitting up into thousands of flaming little sun-balls? What holds our insides in and keeps the outsides out? If you think of water in a pitcher, the pitcher holds the water in and keeps everything else out, right? But what is it that holds the pitcher together? As we walk around outside, we do not fall apart. Why? Because our skin holds us together! But what really is it that keeps your skin holding together?

Some say that Newton’s Law of Gravity holds us together, or a bunch of other recognized scientific laws. Isaac Newton did not create gravity, though; he just discovered it. Who invented gravity and designed it to do what it does? Some people say they just don’t know what keeps the universe running.

We are able to learn the true answer to the question of how the world keeps going, because the Bible tells us. It is God Who holds your skin together and keeps the planets in their proper orbits. God created the whole universe by simply speaking, as He tells us in Genesis 1. In the thousands of years since He first made Creation, God has been holding it together. He created our bone structures and skin. He created gravity. He created created solids and gases and powders and globby things and sticky things.

God is a very powerful God, and He is also good. By His providence and power, He keeps everything and everybody going. The next time you step out into your yard, be glad that your lungs and liver don’t fall into the grass! Be thankful that your lips and teeth are there to keep your tongue from sliding out. And take a moment to remember that God created this world in a very specific way so that things would work just right. Everywhere we look, we can see reminders that God is a great God and a good God Who not only created the world, but keeps on taking care of it.

As the sovereign Creator and Sustainer, God gets the credit for keeping everything together.

My Response:
» How can remembering that God is in charge help me respond rightly when things in my life seem out of control?
» Can I point to things in my life that help me see God taking care of even today?

Read in browser »

 

Home Page

Denison Forum – Cadbury urged to drop ad featuring same-sex kiss: The courage we need and the Source of our hope

 

Richard Cadbury created the first-ever heart-shaped box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day in 1861. He and his family were deeply committed to their Christian faith. Morning prayers and daily Bible readings were conducted for their entire workforce. They used their influence and resources to serve those in need.

That was then; this is now.

The company, which was sold to Kraft Foods in 2010, dropped the word Easter from its annual Easter Egg Trail event in 2017. Now they have released a commercial including a same-sex kiss. The group CitizenGo describes the ad as “a highly-charged sexually provocative act.”

If you’re not shocked by this news, your reaction makes my point.

Church raises $2 million to provide counseling services 

In an ever more secularized society, it is urgent that Christians redouble our commitment to the personal integrity that enables our public witness. As I noted yesterday, sin always affects more than the sinner. To stand publicly for Jesus, we must first spend time privately with Jesus.

The converse, however, is true: when we meet Jesus in person, we will stand for him in public.

John Baker experienced Jesus in a way that “transformed him from a driven businessman with an addiction to alcohol, a failing marriage, and alienated children to a Christ-follower with a passion to help others with their ‘hurts, habits, and hangups’ through the principles of recovery.” This is how Kay Warren, cofounder of Saddleback Church, described Baker, the founder of Celebrate Recovery, a biblical twelve-step program used by more than seven million people.

Baker died unexpectedly this week at the age of seventy-two, but not before God used his personal transformation to offer hope to the world.

In response to the psychological impact of the pandemic, an Arizona megachurch raised nearly $2 million to help people receive counseling services. In a similar response to the pandemic’s economic impact, a megachurch in Florida recently paid off approximately $38,000 in lunch debts for students in two local public schools.

Such commitments transcend even the enormous impact they make on those they serve by showing our skeptical culture the practical and redemptive difference our faith makes in the world.

 

Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln and this cultural moment 

We have focused this week on the character and commitment required to stand for biblical morality in our post-Christian culture. Let’s close by considering the courage such a stand demands.

The evangelical Christian worldview is now in clear conflict with established public policy on a level unprecedented in American history. Our culture has previously embraced unbiblical immorality with regard to sexual promiscuity, LGBTQ issues, pornography, divorce, abortion, and euthanasia, but we were free to practice biblical morality in response. No one made us choose or provide an abortion. No one required us to sell pornography in a Christian bookstore. No one forced doctors to participate in assisted suicides or pastors to conduct same-sex weddings.

Now, however, the law of the land has endorsed same-sex marriage and may soon elevate LGBTQ persons to a protected class. The Equality Act was adopted by the House of Representatives yesterday; if it passes the Senate and becomes law, there will be no recourse to religious liberty.

As I have written previously, evangelicals are viewed as intolerant and discriminatory by our society just as if we were racists appealing to religious liberty to protect our bigotry. Refusing to perform a same-sex wedding is seen as prejudiced just as if we refuse to perform an interracial wedding.

My wife and I watched Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln again last weekend. The film, which tells the story of Lincoln’s resolve to pass the Thirteenth Amendment outlawing slavery in 1865, is one of my all-time favorite movies. I found myself cheering all those who worked so hard to support the amendment and condemning those who opposed it.

Now I find myself on the other side of such a divide. Millions of Americans view me as I viewed the racists in the movie. Standing for clear biblical truth in the face of such opprobrium will require consistent courage over many years to come.

An urgent fact for all Christians 

Such courage is vital because the faith we offer is so vital. Jesus is the way, truth, and life (John 14:6). Biblical morality is the best way to live for all of us, including LGBTQ individuals.

It is urgent that Christians understand this fact. If many roads lead up the same mountain, there is no reason to pay a price to convince others to take our road. If there were many ways to resolve World War II, the military sacrifices paid by so many were unnecessary.

If Jesus is not the only way to heaven, we need not face the ridicule of our secular culture for seeking to win others to him. If Peter was wrong in declaring that “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12), there was no reason for him to give his life to share that salvation with the Roman world.

If Satan cannot convince you that Jesus is unnecessary for life and eternal life, he’ll try to convince you that Jesus is optional.

 

“Ashes in the embers of history” 

In The Wisdom Pyramid: Feeding Your Soul in a Post-Truth World, Brett McCracken notes: “Everything ever tweeted and the most-viewed viral videos will be forgotten ashes in the embers of history, but the church will remain.” Even in our fallen culture, Jesus is building his church, “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).

Let’s close this week with an invitation to join him. Let’s seek the character, commitment, and courage we need from “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). When we work, he works. When we resolve to be like Jesus and to share the love of Jesus, we can ask Jesus to give us his strength and peace.

Paul said of our Savior: “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me” (vv. 28–29).

For what or whom will you “toil” today?

 

http://www.denisonforum.org/

Upwords; Max Lucado –God’s Marvelous Love

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

 

In his letter to Ephesians Paul urged, “May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love; and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high his love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves,…” (Ephesians 3:17-18).

Let God love you. Let Him love you dearly, let Him love you daily, let Him love you deeply. Grab hold of His love and never let go. “God is love” (1 John 4:16). One word into the passage reveals the supreme surprise of God’s love—it has nothing to do with you. Some people love you because of you. Not God – He loves you because He is He. He loves you because he decides to. Self-generated, uncaused, spontaneous. His constant-level love depends on his choice to give it.

Read more Begin Again

 

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

 

 

 

Home