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

 

 

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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.

 

 

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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?

 

 

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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?

 

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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.

 

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