In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley –A Haven from Loneliness

  • MAY 18, 2021

Ephesians 4:1-6

God created humanity with a need for companionship with Himself and one another. When we don’t experience it, we suffer the emotional turmoil of loneliness. But in His Word, God assures us of His constant presence. He wants all believers to know that He is near and will never leave them (Deut. 31:6).

Another way God meets our need for companionship is through the church. When we trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior, we become one not only with Him but also with every other believer. The church is called the body of Christ, and one of its purposes is to meet our need for person-to-person connection. A spiritual body works much like a human one—parts are both independent and interdependent, each needing others in order to function well.

To be spiritually and emotionally healthy, we all need support from our brothers and sisters in Christ. In his letter to the Ephesian church, Paul emphasizes Christlike character qualities that make this possible: humility, gentleness, patience, tolerance, and love. He also admonishes believers to accept one another (Rom. 15:7) and bear each other’s burdens (Gal. 6:2).

If you’re feeling lonely, draw near to God and His people to receive the comfort He gladly supplies.

Bible in One Year: 2 Chronicles 24-25

Our Daily Bread — Facing the Darkness

Bible in a Year:

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.

Isaiah 9:2

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Isaiah 9:2–6

In the mid-1960s, two people participated in research on the effects of darkness on the human psyche. They entered separate caves, while researchers tracked their eating and sleeping habits. One remained in total darkness for 88 days, the other 126 days. Each guessed how long they could remain in darkness and were off by months. One took what he thought was a short nap only to discover he’d slept for 30 hours. Darkness is disorienting.

The people of God found themselves in the darkness of impending exile. They waited, unsure of what would take place. The prophet Isaiah used darkness as a metaphor for their disorientation and as a way of speaking about God’s judgment (Isaiah 8:22). Previously, the Egyptians had been visited with darkness as a plague (Exodus 10:21–29). Now Israel found herself in darkness.

But a light would come. “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned” (Isaiah 9:2). Oppression would be broken, disorientation would end. A Child would come to change everything and bring about a new day—a day of forgiveness and freedom (v. 6).

Jesus did come! And although the darkness of the world can be disorienting, may we experience the comfort of the forgiveness, freedom, and light found in Christ.

By:  Glenn Packiam

Reflect & Pray

What would it look like to embrace a new day of freedom and forgiveness? How can you welcome the light of Christ today?

Dear Jesus, shine Your light into my life. Bring forgiveness and freedom. Help me to live in the light of Your arrival.

Denison Forum – Supreme Court to consider case that could undermine Roe v. Wade: The power of ideas and steps to biblical thinking

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that could undermine Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion across America. The Wall Street Journal explains that the case in question is “a Mississippi abortion law that seeks to ban the procedure after fifteen weeks of pregnancy, a case that gives the justices an opportunity to revisit the court’s precedents protecting abortion rights.”

According to the New York Times, pro-life supporters are “expressing excitement at the court’s decision to consider the case, saying they hoped the justices would overturn Roe and allow states to restrict abortion at any stage of pregnancy.”

John F. Kennedy famously noted, “A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.” If anyone doubts the wisdom of his statement, they need look no further than the idea that led to legalized abortion in this country.

More than sixty-two million abortions have occurred since Roe v. Wade; 93 percent of abortions in the US are elective. This means that 57 million lives have been ended through abortion for reasons that have nothing to do with rape, fetal health, or the mother’s health.

Why you should “watch your thoughts”

Abortion is just one example of the power of ideas. The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas is another: the latter was created in 1987 “for the purpose of liberating Palestine” from the former.

Article Thirteen of Hamas’ charter rejects all “so-called peaceful solutions” to its conflict with Israel and states, “There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad” (holy war). Article Thirty-Three calls on all Muslims to continue this war “until liberation is completed, the invaders are vanquished, and Allah’s victory sets in.” Accordingly, its history is one of aggression and violence toward Israel and the Jewish people.

Another example is the idea that biological males who identify as females should be able to compete against females in sports. Female athletes who have lost to such competitors are now speaking out against regulations they consider unfair. The NCAA claims that strength and endurance advantages of transgender women “dissipate after about one year of estrogen or testosterone-suppression therapy,” but a study by the British Journal of Sports Medicine reports that such individuals continue to have a competitive advantage over female athletes.

The philosopher Lao Tzu warned us: “Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”

Three steps to biblical thinking

In Monday’s Daily Article, I stated the importance of investigating truth claims before accepting them. We are to worship God “in spirit and truth” (John 4:24) as we “make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge” (2 Peter 1:5). “Fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7), but “the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6).

In other words, to think effectively, we need to think biblically.

I recently studied a prayer in Psalm 119 that offers practical help in this regard. Here we find three steps to biblical thinking and living.

One: Choose to immerse ourselves in God’s word and worship.

The psalmist testified: “With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O Lord! I will keep your statutes” (v. 145). Obedience is the natural and joyful response of a person who worships God with passion. When last did you pray to God and obey his word with your “whole heart”?

Two: Meet God early and late.

The psalmist continued: “I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words” (v. 147). The best way to walk with God is to begin walking with God. The sooner we connect with the Spirit of God and the word of God, the sooner they can empower and guide us.

The psalmist then added: “My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promise” (v. 148). The best way to end the day is by meditating on God’s promises and presence.

Three: Seek God’s word for the challenges we face.

Being immersed in God’s word through the day does not prevent obstacles and challenges. Rather, it empowers us to face the temptations and opposition of a fallen world. For example, after the psalmist noted, “They draw near who persecute me with evil purpose” (v. 150), he claimed the biblical truth, “But you are near, O Lord, and all your commandments are true” (v. 151).

Like Jesus, who confronted the wilderness temptations of Satan by reciting biblical truth (Matthew 4:1–11), we should know God’s word and use its wisdom to defeat our enemy and glorify our Father.

Billy Graham’s pastor

Thinking and living biblically is the path to God’s best for our lives and for our culture. The less popular God’s word becomes, the more God’s word is needed. And the more we need to think and live biblically to glorify the One who has given us his word and his Son.

Don Wilton has served as pastor of First Baptist Church in Spartanburg, South Carolina, since 1993. He was also Billy Graham’s personal pastor. I am reading his new book, Saturdays with Billy, in which he describes his weekly visits with Dr. Graham.

As Dr. Wilton told the Christian Post, humility was a constant theme of his encounters with Dr. Graham. The world-famous evangelist’s life reflected Galatians 6:14, a verse that was posted in a number of places around his home. It reads: “Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

If we take time to immerse our minds in this biblical truth, it will become true in our lives and our legacy.

Why not today?